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Michigan First Credit Union

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Michigan First Credit Union
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Planar Mosaic Video Wall Uniquely Illustrates All That Michigan First Credit Union Membership Makes Possible

Michigan First Credit Union – which began as Detroit Teachers Credit Union – has had a noteworthy presence in the state since the early 1920s. It was the first credit union in Michigan to install computers, the first to allow members to bank by phone and among the first to offer wealth management, business and commercial lending, and mobile banking via smart phones. With the November 2014 opening of its Eastpointe, MI branch location, it introduced the retail store concept which embraced customer service using tablet technology, and the use of unique video wall technology to communicate with credit union members in new and different ways.

"Ours is a legacy industry, with many fine traditions and practices," says Michael Poulos, President and CEO of Michigan First Credit Union. "But our Gratiot Financial Store in Eastpointe introduces new technology, including the video wall which was implemented to build affinity with the growing number of younger members, and establish the idea that banking at Michigan First will be a very positive experience."

Video wall anchors welcoming space in the retail financial store

With the active involvement of systems integrator, Bluewater Technologies (Southfield, MI), Michigan First took another important step in choosing a unique Planar® Mosaic™ Architectural Video Wall to anchor the lobby area of its retail financial store in Eastpointe MI,just outside of Detroit. While video walls have come into wider use in the financial industry, Poulos says the Planar Mosaic video wall helps define the Gratiot Financial Store in Eastpointe as "a technology driven branch of the future" by virtue of its unique design.

The Eastpointe location video wall is comprised of a set of high definition LCD display tiles of different sizes and shapes that create a unified display platform but one in which the display tiles are not physically connected to each other. The effect is quite striking, Poulos says, since the content – largely evocative of Michigan scenery – retains its look of singularity despite being shown on disconnected tiles. "You can't help but be amazed by a Lake Michigan waterfront scene, for example, that flows through a series of square and rectangular tiles where pieces of the total picture are precisely sized to fit the individual tiles on which they appear."

Poulos adds that Planar Mosaic is also effective because it visually showcases the natural splendor of Michigan. "On this one-of-a-kind video wall, you can see that Michigan First supports the State of Michigan and that we're here for our credit union members who may be looking to buy a home or a car, remodel a lakeside cabin, get an education, or take a vacation. Because of how these images are shown on Planar Mosaic, the video wall helps give the Credit Union a true sense of differentiation."

Groundbreaking design delivers benefits to systems integrator and credit union's members

The Bluewater team, under the leadership of Chad Hines, created the Planar Mosaic design for Michigan First, an array of 14 LCD display tiles comprising a large rectangle that occupies a major portion of wall space in the lobby area. This rectangle is made up of Planar Mosaic's 22-inch square (AD-22 Salvador™) tiles and its 46-inch (AD-46 Pablo™) tiles, all oriented in an angular, geometric pattern. "Beyond this unique design, a number of other features really set Planar Mosaic apart," Hines says. Among these is its image quality, notably the ability to depict up to 4K content (3840 x 2160 resolution) that so effectively links the credit union to Michigan. This quality owes to the properties of the Planar Mosaic tiles. Brightness, resolution, contrast ratio and color handling are as follows for the Planar Mosaic AD-22/Planar Mosaic AD-46, respectively: 450 nits/700 nits; 960 x 960/1920 x 1080; 4000:1/3500:1 and 16.7 million colors (both). "These features combine to give you a picture that is as real as it would be when viewed through your own eyes."

Another difference-maker for the Bluewater team is Planar Mosaic's off-board electronics design. This pioneering engineering accomplishment takes power supplies away from a Planar Mosaic display tile and allows them to be located in a remote rack room. "It removes heat and noise generating elements. As a result, the video wall runs quieter, display tiles last longer because they aren't subject to heat-induced failures, and the credit union saves a lot by not having to invest in additional cooling for the lobby space," Hines says.

Further, the "any-orientation" feature of Planar Mosaic is complemented by the push-in/push-out snap catches and autoalignment posts designed specifically for each display tile. "They make the installation and alignment job very easy for the integrator, enable a slim 3.6-in mounting depth, and facilitate front servicing should a display tile require it," Hines adds.

Both Hines and Poulos agree that Planar Mosaic gives Eastpointe Financial store location the impactful solution that was envisioned for this groundbreaking credit union space. And Planar affirmed their decision for the product as a result of the commercial-grade quality of Planar Mosaic, its impactful design and content delivery, and the support Planar provided at every stage of the project.