Best Government/Education/Non-Profit Agency Deployment - Self-Service Kiosk 

Project: Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Client: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Submitted by: Float4 Interactive
Also contributing: Sensory Interactive, Zebra Dog, R2W, Christie Digital

Brief overview of the project/technology:
The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is a state-of-the-art facility which brings together scientists and researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines, such as the sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, business and law. On the ground floor is entirely open to the public and is intended to be a destination to engage the scientists from within the building and the campus beyond with the public, it is a place for discovery. Central to this mission are the media walls; portals for people, young and old alike, to learn about the building, its scientists and their research. In an effort to create a closer relationship with the public, two high resolution interactive displays were deployed in the facility. The first display, called the Entrance Portal, greets visitors with a unique visual experience which reacts to multiple interactive zones and creates various degrees of involvement. The second installation, named the Discovery Wall, combines both gesture and multi-touch support to create a rich and engaging educational experience. This project truly embodies the institute’s founding principle of collaboration; Float4 Interactive was implicated at the early stages of the project, all the way to deployment which allowed for a fully tailored installation alongside content creators, audio/video integrators and consultants. Float4 Interactive collaborated in this joint effort to push the limits of interactive technology and natural user interfaces. Leveraging on RealMotion™'s clustering capability and layered interactive technology, two large scale interactive walls, using Christie MicroTiles, displayed multi megapixel resolutions in real time, making these among the highest resolution interactive surfaces in the world.

Objectives of the deployment or the technology:
From a conceptual perspective the main objective was to capture attention and provide an effective platform to engage visitors with a compelling multimedia experience. The second set of objectives, which related more directly to Float4’s scope of work, derived from the conceptual objectives and focused primarily on the technical aspect. These included items such hardware and software performance, layered interactive capability and multipurpose functionality. Essentially, how do we provide a platform that offers both high performance and flexibility? Once the solution was defined, another question remained: how do we integrate it into the actual physical space? Working closely with architects was an essential part of the process to find a common ground between form and function. For example the infra-red cameras used to provide gestural interactivity had to be integrated into the ceiling tiles in a manner that would minimize their visual impact while maintaining their effectiveness.

Results achieved:
As stated previously, the main objective was to capture attention and provide an effective platform to engage visitors with a compelling multimedia experience. Based on the public’s response to both installations we can assert the objective was reached on both counts. In order to validate this we spent time observing how visitors reacted to the presence of the two media walls. Our first conclusion was that in both cases a majority responded by interacting directly. The second conclusion was that in circumstances where an interactive installation in strategically positioned in a public space there is a second degree of interaction which is created by visitors observing one another when interacting with the media walls. From a technical standpoint, this project essentially combined most, if not all, the capabilities that are used in an interactive installation. In terms of performance, these media walls are among the highest resolution interactive walls currently in use in this context.

Size and geographic location(s) of the deployment:
The two media walls are located on the first floor of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in Madison, WI. The entrance portal is composed of 34 Christie MicroTiles and the Discovery Wall is composed of 40 Christie MicroTiles. Each of these walls delivers resolutions near 10 megapixels.

Selected judges comments:

  • WOW - what a fantastic way to capture your audience. This is a fantastic use of technology - both for practical purposes and for fun.
  • Very innovative use of technology. With a focus on engaging the customer, this micromedia solution is intriguing. Very cool Discovery Wall!
  • Very engaging implementation - fit for an "Institude of Discovery." Impressive use of technology along with beautiful graphics/application. Overall a VERY NICE implementation!
  • Very nice diplay and solution. It is nice to see new applications and solutions that continue to leverage new hardware technologeis. It likely does a great job of engaging the audience and bringing what could be a fairly mundane subject, science, to life.



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