Videosonic and Sony Brighten the Visitor Experience at FDNY’s Fire Zone

“We are hoping to save lives. The FDNY is going to show you everything you need to learn about fire safety education and make sure you have a plan to get out in case of a fire.” That’s how Jean O’Shea, Executive Director, FDNY Foundation, describes the primary mission of the Fire Zone, an interactive learning center located in mid-town Manhattan.

Helping to get this message across to the thousands of Fire Zone visitors each year is a variety of hands-on exhibits and multimedia presentations. To keep the guest experience as immersive and dynamic as possible, The FDNY Foundation realized it needed to do a comprehensive upgrade of the display and presentations technology throughout the facility.

That renovation is currently underway, with the Fire Zone’s centerpiece exhibit already outfitted with Sony’s state-of-the-art laser light source projector, the VPL-FHZ55 model.

Chosen for its image quality, brightness, cost-efficiency and nearly maintenance free operation, the 4,000 lumens 3LCD Projector VPL-FHZ55 made a positive impact.

7391_LaserProjectors_CommercialIntergrator_Advertorial_V4.inddThe projector is installed in the Fire Zone’s main theater, aimed toward a screen that is actually at the top of the firehouse door. This location is the first part of the visitor’s experience. The lights go down and the door appears to open, but it’s actually a video of a fire truck leaving to respond to a call. From there, visitors are taken on a simulated ride on the fire truck through the streets of New York City, and when they arrive at the fire is when the video stops, the actual door opens and they enter the theater.

The Sony VPL-FHZ55 laser projector is delivering the perfect sense of realism needed for the exhibit as the visitors begin their journey through the Fire Zone. “The projector is great,” she said. “The firefighters using it say it is really wonderful and clear. Visitors are seeing things that they never saw before on the screen!”

The VPL-FHZ55 projector is playing a critical role in helping the Fire Zone achieve its goals. “This new technology will allow us to better inform the public about the FDNY, as well as provide education about fire and life safety,” said O’Shea.

While the guests are seeing the benefits of the Sony laser projector, the technology is also providing a behind-the-scenes operational advantage for the Fire Zone. “This is really the start of ‘Fire Zone 2.0,’” said Glenn Polly of VideoSonic, the systems integrator working with the Fire Zone on the upgrade. “This projector delivers much higher quality. It literally changes everything. The Sony FH30 series (on which the VPL-FHZ55 is based) was amazing to begin with, but now having the lamp replaced by a laser light source just moves things several steps ahead.”

The FDNY Fire Zone is part of the FDNY Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, and keeping an eye on the budget is critical – another reason the VPL-FHZ55 is a fit for the facility.

To learn more, click here to download SONY’s case study (PDF, 1MB – will launch in a new window).

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