The number of buildings and public spaces in cities is increasing, demanding from them to be more sustainable and to create a pleasant environment for the people who use them. Glass buildings and their facades, in particular, pose plenty of opportunities to make our surroundings more appealing. Remco Veenbrink, founder of innovative company VideowindoW – part of the YES!Delft community, saw the potential and made it his mission to turn any glass surface into an amazing video experience.
‘It all started as an artistic endeavor’
The initial idea of VideowindoW was born when Remco passed through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol several years ago. “I walked through the traverse to the parking lot, which has glass-tiled walls. I wondered whether these could work like pixels in a screen, which was the first time I imagined what ultimately became VideowindoW,” he says.
While this may have been just an idea to someone else, for Remco it was all it took to embrace it and turn it into a successful company. As a commercial film director himself and with a background in advertising, he was well equipped to take on this project. And being as determined as he is, he didn’t waste time thinking about it.
Remco started work on a proof of principle, which resulted in 10x10cm liquid crystal mono-cells – or in other words pixels in a transparent screen. He quickly created a render of what he had in mind and went to Schiphol Media to present his idea: a transparent video screen to be used as a branding opportunity and experience for the passengers.
Schiphol Media liked the added experience and branding tool potential, but it needed to make more commercial sense. The resolution basically had to increase to use VideowindoW as a digital signage tool. This first customer validation encouraged Remco to continue developing VideowindoW as a transparent media platform.
He asked Mark Oudenhoven, a long-time friend with a background in finance, to help further analyze the market potential and develop a business model.
‘Media platform becomes fun, profitable and sustainable glare control’
Their business plan soon led to government funding, after which Remco and Mark quit their jobs to officially found VideowindoW.
They first developed a proof of concept to be able to showcase their solution to potential customers. This led to an innovation partnership with Rotterdam The Hague Airport and in September 2019, they installed a 25m2 VideowindoW in the terminal. The solution contributed to an improved passenger experience and created value for the airport.
VideowindoW makes a strong case for sustainability, too. “Based on sensors and our algorithm, we constantly adapt the transparency of each individual pixel. Our innovative glare control reduces the need for artificial lighting and results in a more efficient use of climate control. Both help to reduce a building’s carbon footprint up to 30%,” Remco says.
VideowindoW is the first to introduce segmented tintable glass in the industry, and by using pixels it is able to transform an entire glass facade into an integrated media platform.
Besides commercial content, Rotterdam The Hague Airport also leverages VideowindoW by offering it as a platform for cultural and educational content. This generates additional regional support for the airport. For example, museums such as Boijmans van Beuningen and the Kunstmuseum Den Haag show content from their archives to a wider audience. Additionally, Willem de Kooning Academy students create video content for the airport.
Going forward, VideowindoW aims to expand beyond its beachhead market of airports and other public transport hubs, and install its solution in hospitals, offices, libraries and more. The startup wants to increase the sustainability of the build environment with its innovative glare control, while creating memorable video experiences.
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