Information and Communications Pavilion

Expo 2010 Shanghai
Shanghai, China

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Visitors flocking to the Information & Communications Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai China got a taste of cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICT) to come when they toured the attraction presented by China Mobile and China Telecom.  BRC Imagination Arts was the creator and producer for the world’s first Multi-Dimensional Interactive Network pavilion.

As soon as visitors entered the pavilion they picked up their ICT Mobile Device, a futuristic, handheld, personal communications device that would accompany them on their interactive journey through the attraction. This device was awarded the Outstanding Achievement for the Integration of Technology and Storytelling at the Themed Entertainment Association’s 17th Thea awards in 2010. Electrosonic provided the initial research and specification for the ICT Mobile Device, and installed the 802.11 wireless network which enabled visitors to interact with the pavilion’s show/exhibition elements, displaying video and a host of other interactive capabilities. The ICT Mobile Devices were designed by BRC Imagination Arts and provided by Linkon.


A visitor holding the wireless ICT Mobile Device

“We’re always doing new custom applications that are very challenging,” says Electrosonic senior project manager Thursby Pierce.  “Our Medialon show-control master controller sends cues via the wireless network to allow the ICT-equipped visitors to follow in sync with all the shows.  Show control knows where each visitor and their ICT Mobile Device are at any given time and, based on the show in that part of the pavilion, plays synchronous content that relates to that particular experience.”

Visitors waiting outside in the Dream Garden were treated to a preview of the pavilion displayed on 13 Sunbrite weather-resistant 42-inch LCD monitors with audio support from a complement of JBL speakers.

Exterior of the ICP at night

After they were issued their ICT Mobile Device, visitors logged onto the network, created their own personal Dream Profile via the touch-screen on their device and watched welcome videos on four 42-inch clustered Panasonic LCD monitors facing out in all directions.

Then they proceeded to the “Progress Begins as a Dream” pre-show interactive experience where five Christie projectors displayed edge-blended animated content documenting the history of communications in China on a 68-foot curved screen while changing colored lights coordinated with the animation in the interactive space.  Electrosonic also provided the full multi-track surround system.

The first show set on a wide screen

Visitors settled into the “Dream Big” Multi-Dimensional Interactive Network Theater for the main show on an IMAX-style Stewart Film Screen, measuring 71x38 feet with a slight curve, and on 32 panels that formed an immersive media canopy arcing over the audience.  Four Christie projectors delivered the edge-blended imagery in horizontal and vertical quadrants to the big screen.  Four additional projectors displayed supporting images in multiple window-type frames on the canopy; they also warped and morphed some content onto the big screen.

The main show flanked by “sub-screens”

Electrosonic supplied the multi-track surround system for the “Dream Big” Theater experience and furnished tactile transducers that enabled audience members to feel the low-frequency sounds through their seats.

After the main show visitors played the “Dream Lantern Collection Game” using their ICT Mobile Device to interact with the post show exhibitions using RFID technologies. Visitors collected dreams, won prizes and learned more about future information and communication technologies (ICT). They also watched a series of post-show videos highlighting the future of ICT on plasma screens located around the “One Connected World” exhibition hall.

Visitors returned their ICT Mobile Device as they exited the pavilion. Once they returned home, visitors could retrieve their collected dreams and virtual prizes. and connect with other dreamers by logging onto the Information and Communications Pavilions social network website customized by the choices the visitors made during their experience at the pavilion.

The majority of show systems were concentrated in the primary Show Equipment Room. Electrosonic also equipped a pair of carts with high-resolution document cameras which were rolled out for future information and communication technology product demonstrations. Electrosonic associate project manager Matt Sweeney and audio engineer and tech lead Phil Shaw remained onsite to supervise the Chinese crew; Electrosonic was contracted to perform the strike for the pavilion at the conclusion of the Expo.

Electrosonic Design Consulting provided guidance to the exhibit designers on AV equipment selections, projection geometry, facility impact, and budgeting. The team started by responding to the creative drawings provided by the designers and identifying equipment that met the creative intent. A number of projection studies were produced for the venue that demonstrated proof of concept and allowed them to verify the equipment selections. Electrosonic Design Consulting also created facility impact drawings, which provided cable, electrical power and heating/cooling requirements to the project's engineers so they could design the infrastructure that allowed all of the AV equipment to operate properly. The decisions from these initial consultations set the groundwork for how the overall systems would operate. Each project was turned over to the Electrosonic Engineering Department for further refinement, fabrication and installation.

From the celebrated Expo67 in Montreal to the last major Expo in 2005 in Aichi, Japan, Electrosonic has an extensive credit roster of international expos stretching from Brisbane and Osaka to New Orleans and Lisbon.  Electrosonic’s participation in Expo 2010 Shanghai now pushes the number of projects the company has completed for these fairs to over 50.