With the advent of the iPad, leaders in the electronic controls industry became increasingly anxious about the tablet’s impact on their businesses. At one such company, AMX, share prices dropped to $3, and a new CEO was hired to turn things around.
The new head of AMX was confident that controls and touch panels were still viable — and even believed there was untapped potential in the control business. So, he went all-in on developing a control panel unlike anything the industry had seen.
The client envisioned a 23-inch touch panel — and a clear one, at that. Naturally, we had questions. During a brainstorming meeting, we grabbed a scrap of cardboard, cut it to size, and set it on the conference table.
“Is this really what you want,” we asked. The makeshift “screen” completely obscured its operator from view, and limited sight lines for others around the room.
The first challenge: A touch screen of this unique size and aspect ratio didn’t exist. Without the estimated $1.5 million in CapX to invest in tooling and building a new screen, we needed a creative solution. After extensive research and multiple discussions with suppliers, we found a touch screen in production that could be literally cut in half and re-configured.
With a design direction approved and key components sorted out, we looked ahead to the manufacturing process to identify potential issues. One such obstacle involved achieving the desired finish on the aluminum exterior chassis. The fabricator was eager to experiment and problem-solve with us, and ultimately delivered a perfect product.
Another breakthrough moment happened when the team figured out how to reposition the touch sensors from around the perimeter of the screen to either side of the seam bisecting the panel. This not only made the outer edges of the screen thinner — meaning it would fit into an ultra-slim-profile exterior shell — but also eliminated the need for the ubiquitous black “frame” around the display (where Apple and others typically conceal touch sensors). The result was a sleek, stylish control panel with an edge-to-edge glass touch screen.
Despite its low profile, the size and shape of the panel could still accommodate a G5 graphics engine and Quad-core processor — giving users true multi-function control over complex meeting and auditorium spaces.
Rather than a panicked reaction to a potentially devastating industry shift, the Modero touch panel emerged instead as a true innovation.
Over the next 10 years, IDM developed a number of revolutionary products with AMX — securing more than a dozen patents, and earning several international awards for product innovation and design excellence.
Anne likes things neat and tidy. As an avid gardener, she knows a pristine landscape doesn’t happen by chance—there’s always someone pruning, watering, and tending to the details. Anne is that person for IDM. “I shape things,” she says, “often behind the scenes, to make sure we deliver what we promise.”
At IDM, Anne works to “make excellence a habit” by overseeing our ISO certification program. She also helps cultivate a culture focused on customer satisfaction—whether that “customer” is internal or external. With her self-described “relentless smile” and what Frank Lloyd Wright calls “an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen,” Anne keeps us alert, on our toes, and bringing our very best each day. “I love working with bright people who are passionate about what they do,” she says.
When she’s not digging in the dirt, you might find Anne nurturing her love of reading at the local library.