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The 2022 global Digital Signage Awards were announced in August 2022 with Electrosonic bringing home two distinguished awards – for best AV integration of an Attraction and Entertainment Venue. The Digital Signage Awards are an annual event that awards outstanding AV installations and innovations throughout the year. Entries in digital signage, DOOH advertising, and digital experiences are judged by an international panel of industry experts.
With nearly hundreds of entries and only 33 awards granted making it on the podium once, not to mention twice, is quite an accomplishment. Awards are divided into three categories: 2 Gold winners, 21 Category winners, and 10 Category high commendations. Electrosonic’s work on Illuminarium with its many partners brought home two category wins.
The excitement around the future-forward entertainment venue is palatable. With nominations stacking up in other industry-leading recognitions such as the 2022 AV Awards where the Illuminarium Atlanta has made the shortlist for three awards (Venue Project of the Year; Events and Entertainment Project of the Year; and Leisure and Hospitality Project of the Year), this is surely only the beginning of many more to come.
Illuminarium Takes the Future of Entertainment to New Levels
In an encounter like no other, Atlanta’s Illuminarium is certain to become a top traveler destination. The immersive experience opened with events that allow visitors to go on an African safari, visit the moon, be encapsulated by Georgia O’Keeffe’s works of art, and take a trip down the rabbit hole to meet Alice in Wonderland. The after-dark bar allows visitors over 21 to enjoy a full bar while experiencing a variety of destinations including Tokyo’s night markets, underwater adventures, crystal caverns, and more with featured destinations changing nightly.
The venue is also being used to host sporting events such as Monday night football, college football Saturdays, and educational content for K12 students. Individuals and organizations are also able to host private events for special occasions. These experiences will continue to grow with the reprogrammable infrastructure as well as the addition of venues throughout the U.S.
While all of this is fascinating, one might wonder how this experience is truly unique. What is truly innovative is the size and depth of the experience – 360 degrees over 30,000 square feet with multiple rooms providing different encounters. Two main immersive rooms are complimented by outdoor dining, a café, a ticketing lobby, a retail space, and an after-dark bar experience.
Covering all four walls, the ceiling, and the floor, visitors will step out of their everyday lives into worlds of pure imagination and international destinations that they may never be able to visit in person. And at the Illuminarium, the experience engages all of the five senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. To accomplish this, Electrosonic had to tackle challenges never taken on in the AV industry before.
Taking Virtual Reality to the Next Level
Some have noted that the spectacle is similar to “virtual reality without the glasses,” an interactive version of an IMAX theatre come to life. So, how did this futuristic entertainment venue come into play and what challenges were overcome to make the dream into reality?
Electrosonic worked with multiple partners including LAB at Rockwell Group, Panasonic, HOLOPLOT, Powersoft, disguise, Ouster and Radical Media to bring llluminarium Experiences and Legends Hospitality Group’s vision to life.
To achieve the desired outcome required the integration of 4K projection, spatial audio, low-frequency Haptic Infrasound, and Lidar-driven interactive technologies in a 360º canvas. Additionally, to make the investment worthwhile and add to its long-term value, the system needed to be fully reprogrammable.
While most immersive experiences utilize multiple technologies, this project was the first time that all of them were being used in a single space. The scope and scale of the project was simply unheard of previously.
Cutting-edge Technology at Scales Never Seen Before
Electrosonic collaborated with multiple partners to coordinate the efforts required to bring the Illuminarium vision alive. Panasonic 4K projectors bring video to life on displays measuring 22-feet-high by 350-feet-wide, delivering up to 3 billion pixels at a time. In the larger room at the venue comprised of 18,000 square feet, 46 of these laser projectors were in action when the Atlanta location opened.
HOLOPLOT spatial technology enables the facility to create a 3D soundscape powered by 3D-beam-forming technology. This enables the venue to customize sounds to an individual’s location and move with them throughout an experience to ensure the sounds match the experience. Even more fascinating, two people can be standing a mere 2-feet apart and hear completely different audio.
As if that isn’t enough, Ouster’s LIDAR sensing technology takes the individual experience a step further – literally. Content responds to individual movements and gestures to further personalize the experience. Examples include water rippling when a visitor steps on the image or dust flying into the air when a visitor walks through a certain area. The venue also has the technology to add authentic smells to the experience.
Illuminarium Atlanta is Just the Beginning
The Atlanta location opened in June of 2021 followed shortly after by the opening of an Illuminarium in Las Vegas in early 2022. Other locations in consideration for future venues include Miami, “New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles and Austin.”
The company’s future-forward visions will no doubt continue to captivate the imaginations of visitors and AV professionals alike. Additionally, the company is committed to sustainability and conservation.
Single-use items such as straws and cups, etc. have been replaced with biodegradable options. Equipment and operations are monitored and maintained to support sustainability efforts. And, portions of proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will go to the WildArt organization. Visitors can enjoy a fantastic experience while knowing they are supporting an organization that is committed to the health of the planet and future generations.
Alexander Hann, Communications Specialist, understands the challenges that clients face when they are making decisions about technology. He uses his extensive experience of communicating complex concepts to write about the latest developments in technology in a way that clearly explains benefits for business and technical decision-makers.