An Interview with Ta Loong Gan
Global Sales Vice President for Immersive Experience and Managing Director for Barco SEA
At Barco, they believe truly great engineering starts with a clear vision. A vision of a better, smarter, healthier world. A community of visioneers in every department, from R&D over manufacturing to services, it’s how they contribute to a bright tomorrow. The company's brand is iconic, and its products support a wide gamut of professional and corporate sectors that require cutting‐edge solutions for Wireless collaboration, Projectors, Medical displays, Video walls, and Image processing.
AVL TIMES had the exclusive opportunity to an interview with Mr. Ta Loong Gan, Global Sales Vice President for Immersive Experience and Managing Director for Barco SEA. Helming the responsibility for Barco's business development as well as implementing strategic plans for Immersive Experience , we are fortunate to have him share his views about the rapid progress of the company, and especially what's next for the brand.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Please tell us your role and responsibility in the company.
I’m the Global Vice President of Sales, responsible for driving revenue, operational management, and business development in the Immersive Experience division. On top of that, I’m also responsible for the overall Barco business for the Healthcare, Enterprise and Entertainment segments in Southeast Asia and Taiwan region.
What aspects of the APAC market sectors make Barco's innovative products an exciting industry to be involved in?
In APAC, we see a rising demand for immersive experiences at entertainment venues like exhibition centers and museums. While these immersive exhibitions are getting a lot of consumer’s attention, outdoor video mapping are also gaining strong following because of the bigger and bolder ‘wow’ factor that captures the consumer’s imagination.
Barco is ready to help create these wow‐experiences with a wide portfolio of projectors. Our UDM and UDX flagship laser projectors are built for those environments where color vibrancy, reliable performances and robustness are important. And our G‐series smart line projectors oﬀer premium value and uncompromised quality at a competitive pricing. The G‐series expands the Barco single‐chip oﬀering with projectors between 5,400 and 22,000 ANSI lumens to meet the needs of any installation with a cost‐ eﬀective solution. On top of that, we also see a revival of live events and part of this ecosystem lies with our image processors particularly the EventMaster E2 presentation systems.
How much did the 2020‐2022 pandemic crisis aﬀect the business, and what new insights have you learned about the industry from those 3 years.
The Covid‐19 pandemic had a major impact on the Entertainment industries, especially on live events and staging companies. In many parts of the world, immersive video spaces were able to open immediately after covid restrictions got (partially) lifted, as they could provide social distancing and other safety measures more easily than concerts or movies. Similarly, we saw an uptake in outdoor video mapping projects because they could often still happen when indoor events were not possible.
During these diﬃcult times, it was key for A/V businesses to provide flexibility, and at Barco we saw people invest wisely in technology with a wide range of applications: image processing which can be used both for live scaling and for streaming or broadcast setups such as our E2 presentation systems, and projectors which can be used for live events and video mapping alike such as our UDM and UDX laser projectors.
With the pandemic years behind us, how much growth for your industry do you see in the next 2‐3 years for APAC region.
Seeing how the Entertainment and Live Events industries are picking up and the consumer expectations and demand for experiences are growing, we are very confident with APAC’s potential growth by double digit.
At the same time the recovering market is confronted with labor shortages. So, in the next 2‐3 years, we’re not only looking at hardware solutions for wow visitor experiences, but we’re also diving into our software oﬀerings to enable more eﬃcient workflows.
As a technology‐driven company, we are continuously innovating and reinventing our portfolio to find better ways and tools to support our customers and partners.
Which markets are currently of most interest to you: rental, commercial install, worship, education, broadcast, studio, education, medical, etc.
Barco is a global technology leader that develops networked visualization solutions for the Entertainment, Enterprise, and Healthcare markets. Our diverse range of projection and image processing solutions help roadies, artists and creatives oﬀer stunning visual experiences in cities, at events, houses of worship or museums. Our video wall displays, control room and collaboration solutions help professionals in control rooms, classrooms and meeting rooms connect data and images for more informed decisions and smarter collaboration within the organizations. Our medical displays and solutions enable hospitals to provide their patients with the best possible health outcomes and work more eﬃciently.
With such a diverse portfolio, you can say that every market is of interest to us. We are present at these markets where our products and solutions can further enhance our partner’s capabilities and customer experience.
With new markets and technology trends emerging, what is the company's focus on projection technology, immersive experience, digital art trends in APAC and how is that going to impact events moving forward?
Both outdoor video mapping and indoor immersive spaces have illustrated the growing interest in blended multi‐channel projection. Barco continues to be the global market leader for professional 3 DLP projection above 10,000 lumen, and we continue to develop projectors that oﬀer the best image quality at any given brightness.
For indoor immersive experiences both our F80 and our smart line G‐series remain hugely popular, with multiple new spaces built on Barco technology opening in the region in the last year.
Following a global consultation of our customers, we developed the new, more powerful UDM‐4K30 especially for the events industry: the sturdy, road‐tested chassis, and superior Pulse electronics, combined with Barco’s widely available TLD+ lenses, make for an incredibly versatile platform: from outdoor video mapping and music festivals to corporate gigs and temporary museum displays, the UDM can do it all!
What is the latest technology advancement that Barco is introducing in their product range currently available in the market? Innovation and projection are at the very core of what we do, and they are very close to our hearts and minds. Currently, we have two projection lines to choose from – the flagship projection series oﬀer the rental and staging companies the best visual experience at the best RoI, whilst the smart line projectors push boundaries in compactness and energy eﬃciency making it a TCO winner. Thanks to the breakthrough innovation in light source and projection design, we have introduced two exciting new products within our projection series: The UDM‐4K30 in our flagship series is the most compact and lightest projector in the 30K lumen category. It features 4K UHD resolution to deliver the best colors and visual experience. The UDM is built on the unified Barco Pulse electronics platform with refresh rates up to 240Hz and access to the Barco Insights Management Suite for remote fleet management. Not only that, but the product is also built to be future proof as it’s AVoIP ready. (www.barco.com/en/product/udm‐ 4k30) The new G50 from the smart line leads as the smallest, lightest (weighing at 14 kg) and most energy eﬃcient (up to 18 ANSI Lm/W) projector in the 5‐8K lumen category. It’s an aﬀordable and compact, yet powerful, single chip WUXGA projector fit for multi‐channel projections in museums, exhibitions, experience centers, boardrooms, or entry‐level simulation applications. Their uniform compact size, the compatibility with Barco’s extensive G‐series lenses and the wide lens shift range enlarge the projectors flexibility, which allows you to choose the perfect fit for your specific environment. In addition, G50 owners can benefit from the valued Barco service and support. It allows for an Insights Management Suite subscription, our cloud based IoT platform to monitor, diagnose and control your projectors. With Barco’s Projector Toolset software, installing and managing your projector(s) can be done from the comfort of your own computer. (www.barco.com/G50)
Which recently completed or currently ongoing projects using your products are you most proud of? We have worked with many customers and partners on a lot of impressive projects and installations worldwide. Every one of these projects have their unique diﬀerentiation and we are extremely proud to be part of them.
The 2 projects that stood out to me was d’strict ARTE MUSEUM Korea and Museum of the Future. Here’s why:
The framework agreement with d’strict Korea designates Barco as the sole supplier of all projectors for d’strict’s upcoming international digital art museum projects in the next four years. The size of the hardware agreement (which consist of our smart series G62 and flagship series UDM) and the global nature of the service contract, make this one of the largest agreements ever for this market in the Barco history. It’s an important win in line with our ambition to keep on enabling immersive experiences all around the world. (www.barco.com/eu‐ en/inspiration/customer‐ stories/nature‐comes‐to‐life‐in‐dstrict‐ arte‐museums) (www.barco.com/eu‐en/about/press‐ releases/2022‐09‐07‐barco‐and‐dstrict‐ arte‐museums)
The Museum of the Future is an architectural wonder and is nothing like an ordinary museum. The Barco technology featured in one of their main exhibits consist of fourteen Barco F90‐4K13 projectors with an UST lens installed in the shallow space behind the screens and throw a whopping 110 megapixels on the 21x4m curved Barco RigiFlex screen, which is the largest curved rear‐projection screen in a single seamless piece ever built. Now, that is innovation. (www.barco.com/us‐ en/inspiration/customer‐ stories/museum‐of‐the‐future)
Please tell us what you personally find exciting and/or challenging about being involved as a key participant in the growth of video technology for newer and future applications.
During the pandemic and also due to demographic evolutions in many parts of the world, finding and retaining technical people has been a challenge at times. I am personally excited that we can help our partners and their customers with easier workflows and remote capabilities to help them overcome this challenge, so that our projectors become easier to handle ‐ anytime, anywhere. We are also continuously innovating and helping our customers through standardization on AVoIP with IP and projection products, by pushing the boundaries in framerates and resolution, making the visual experience more exciting in many applications.
Finally, I am also very excited to introduce XCITE ‐ set up as a Global solution team to help integrators with design, feasibility & installation services to deploy large, complex and challenging immersive systems. The growth of video technologies have alter the way our customers wanting to experience these systems.
We want to think with our customers, while working closely with consultants and AV integrators to push the boundaries of projection & display technologies – through custom software and hardware – much like the Earth Overview Experience set up in the Museum of the Future. I’m excited to see more creative installations from the XCITE team.
And finally, what is your dream to achieve for Barco in 2025.
My personal vision is to elevate Barco to become the top AV technology leader in this region and creating impact in every market we play by 2025. At Barco we are all visioneers. We believe truly great engineering starts with a clear vision. A vision of a better, smarter, healthier world. It’s how we contribute to a bright tomorrow.
Click the link to find more information at www.barco.com