Creative production agency Lodestar recently collaborated with leading car brand Nissan to create the Nissan Innovation Station at the 02 Arena. The Innovation Station is staffed and managed by experiential agency RPM and features an advanced audio-visual infrastructure created by Feltech, which encourages interactivity and is built largely around GestureTek gesture-controlled technology.
As the O2’s official automobile partner, the attraction is part of the brand’s three year partnership with O2 owners, AEG. This engaging entertainment experience showcases Nissan’s new zero-emission, fully electric car LEAF, with a number of pods and kiosks designed to inform and entertain visitors, who are able to ride in driving simulators, design a car virtually and play interactive games aimed at boosting understanding of electric vehicles.
Feltech won a competitive bid to provide full multimedia including audio (and voice evac) and cabling over Cat5. All media feeds are transported over DVI.
Responsible for developing the overall concept and design of this new space along with software development company Kin Design Lodestar called in the AV integrators to provide the projectors and multimedia hardware. A GestureTek interactive floor and wall, distributed in the UK by Paradigm AV, had already been specified by Kin Design to deliver the wow factor, and the software developers also created the educational and navigational content.
As visitors pass the LED signage in the main concourse, they enter the indigo blue entrance area. Here they are immersed in a digital cornfield, while interaction with the bubbles swirling across the Gesture FX floor designed to emulate a pool of water brings up different messages.
The giant 7020mm x 2700mm interactive dual projection backdrop, soft-edge blended and running GestureTek Dazzler software, is addressed by a pair of Panasonic PT-D6000 projectors, with semi short throw lens, taking feeds from one of the many PCs in the giant computer room all fitted with graphics cards.
Meanwhile, firing directly onto the interactive floor, running Flash content, Feltech have chosen a Panasonic PT-D5000 with short throw lens, recessed behind the ceiling void.
After passing through the Jungle of Opinion, where visitors activate the various workstations with their personalized passcards, they arrive at one of the most popular features: the GestureTek AirPoint. A newer and more compact version of GestureTek’s popular HoloPoint hand-tracking unit for mouse replacement, these touchless interactive displays are awe inspiring, magically creating a tracking area out of thin air, and instantly picking up the user’s finger when gesturing above for point to click interactivity. Two 40 SAX3D HOP holographic screens display the images in 4:3 aspect ratio and these too were supplied by Paradigm AV.
The motion sensing interface is heavily dependent on the correct choice of projector, and after much deliberation, Feltech’s project manager, Inesh Patel, opted for the NEC WT610 which is concealed within the plinth.
Inesh has extensive experience of working with Paradigm AV and was pleased to see that they were already in discussion with Kin by the time they were introduced to the process. We have always found the support they have offered exceptional, he said.
Lodestar director, Jason Worsley, explained that his company had been brought in a year ago, after which the initially-intended piece of real estate for the Innovation Station grew to 30m x 15m, with further offices and fully-equipped boardrooms added on for meeting purposes. This was constructed by De Boer Structures and fitted out by Virtus Contracts, while the project architects were Barr Gazetas and Set Square were responsible for the set designs throughout the structure.
After its first month the Innovation Station is reporting a healthy footfall, justifying the six figure investment. Open daily from 12pm-8pm the projectors are powered up and down respectively under automatic Crestron control.
Summing up, Inesh Patel said that of the many challenges Feltech faced, the most exacting had been sourcing an AirPoint projector which could be mounted at the correct right angle and fire over the correct projection distance. In achieving the optimum positioning for this, they were aided by Set Square.
Feltech meanwhile will continue to monitor the system remotely, carrying out periodic healthchecks via internet access, while RPM will be responsible for managing the Innovation Station for its three year duration at the O2.