Ajax Experience

Football Fans Get in the Game with Interactive AV Exhibits by Electrosonic
Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Fans of the Dutch football team Ajax are getting a kick out of the new Ajax Experience visitors’ centre in Amsterdam. The new interactive visitors’ centre based in the city centre gives visitors an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be an Ajax player.

Ajax Experience

The highlights of the Ajax Experience are the interactive exhibits, including “T.I.P.S”, which emphasises Technique, Insight, Personality and Speed; and a series of virtual exhibits which allow visitors to experience the locker room, players’ tunnel and stadium. The multimedia site was designed and produced by Montreal’s gsmprjctº with audio-visual systems integration by Electrosonic. Kiss the Frog produced the “T.I.P.S. Technique” and “T.I.P.S. Speed” interactive exhibits. Fiction Factory was the exhibition fit-out contractor.

Ajax Experience

“T.I.P.S. Technique” enables visitors to practice taking shots inside glass boxes. At one end of the box, a projection screen from Electrosonic displays a field or team member and target zones for a successful kick. At the other end, a football is placed above a detector. Data from the kick detector and interrupted invisible (IR) laser beams allows a computer to calculate the ball’s trajectory and swerve. A sound system provides appropriate crowd sound effects, and graphic panels outside the glass explain what’s happening to onlookers.

T.I.P.S. Insight

“T.I.P.S. Insight” features interactive multi-touch tabletop displays, based on 46-inch LCD panels, which teach participants the options available when players are in different positions on the pitch. They demonstrate typical Ajax strategies based on various opportunities during the game. “T.I.P.S. Personality” is represented by a graphic panel where visitors can read about the kind of personality an Ajax player needs to have to be a good fit with the Ajax philosophy.

Interactivity returns with “T.I.P.S. Speed,” where participants dribble a ball precisely over target markers, which are projected onto the floor by two projectors spaced apart but displaying the same aligned image to prevent shadows from obscuring the projection. Electrosonic also furnished infra-red lighting and infra-red cameras to detect the position of the ball.

Following the main exhibition area, visitors move to the climax of the Ajax Experience. The first part of this is in the “Locker Room” where visitors take the place of team members. On one side of the room, a mirrored wall becomes a rear-projection screen when the lights dim. The team manager appears to give an aggressive halftime pep talk in a projection created by Electrosonic using four short-throw projectors that produce a blended image in the very tight space.

Players' Tunnel

The visitors then move on to “The Stadium,” passing through the “Players’ Tunnel” on the way. “The Stadium” is dominated by four projection screens; the largest uses two DLP projectors to produce a panoramic edge-blended image showing historic Ajax matches. “The Giant Academy” attracts fans to an area where three screens, recessed high into the walls, display films about the development of Ajax players. Each screen has its own five-way listening station with five pairs of headphones with volume control.

The Stadium Exhibit

When visitors enter the exhibition via the “Hall of History,” they are faced with a large graphic montage augmented by four 46-inch LCD panels configured in a 2x2 video wall. One of the exhibition’s main themes is “From Children to Champions,” which shows how intense training helps transform talented youngsters into top footballers. Another film, “Well of Talent,” focuses on how children become Ajax’s Juniors, and is displayed on a horizontal trapezoidal screen just above floor level.