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Shanghai Expo 2010 was a major global event showcasing China’s economic development. It attracted more than 70 million visitors over six months with exhibitors from more than 190 countries. Electrosonic, an experienced player in Expos with more than 50 completed projects, worked with BRC Imagination Arts and provided technology services for three key areas – Information & Communications Pavilion, China State Shipbuilding Pavilion and USA Pavilion.
The Information & Communications Pavilion provided visitors with a personalized interactive experience using a handheld mobile device. Working with China Mobile and China Telecom, Electrosonic developed a series of attractions to leverage audiovisual and network technologies and enable mass customization of the visitor experience. Show control knows the location of each visitor’s device at any time. Based on the show in that location, it played synchronous content relating to that particular experience.
In the China State Shipbuilding Pavilion, a variety of sophisticated projection techniques were used to create displays on large scale exhibits with unusual screen geometry. Full motion video welcomed visitors to the pavilion with giant text, while a fog screen of fine water mist provided an appropriate portal to the exhibits. Interactive screens allowed visitors to explore cruise ship interiors, oil rig construction, marine life underwater and future ship-based technology concepts. One of the highlights was an interactive presentation exploring the concept of permanent floating cities, theme parks and airports.
The USA Pavilion featured Hollywood-style multi-dimensional presentations in three acts. Act 1 was an overture with messages from US leaders projected on giant screens. Act 2, the Mainshow, combined live action imagery with CGI and 4D effects such as vibrating seats, mist and lighting effects projected on five 30-feet tall screens each with a unique shape. In the final act, Electrosonic supported corporate sponsors with sophisticated audio and projection systems to showcase American business and technology.
An exhibition on this scale presented a number of demanding technical challenges. One general problem was the instability of the local power supply, making it essential to provide constant monitoring to alert support teams to any issues. Reliability was also key, so it was important to select quality, professional equipment and systems to minimize downtime and maintenance.
There were a number of sophisticated projection techniques that required innovative solutions. The Multi-Dimensional Interactive Network Theater, for example, featured a 71x 38 feet IMAX type screen, plus 32 panels using edge-blended imagery to form an immersive media canopy over the audience. In the China State Shipbuilding Pavilion, visitors were able to experience fog projection screens, dome projection and images projected onto curved walls and other irregular surfaces. In the USA Pavilion, 30 feet tall screens featured an hourglass or trapezoidal image required special rigging and installation techniques as well as content and projection masking to achieve optimum image quality. The huge number of installations and the very large exhibition area meant careful attention to control room and cabling design and access.
Electrosonic provided expert guidance, projection studies and proof of concept to the exhibit designers on audiovisual equipment selection, projection geometry, facility impact and budgeting. The team was also responsible for installing and programming audio, video, immersive and interactive attractions throughout all three pavilions. Electrosonic’s Expo experience and resources meant that it was able to deliver on time despite a compressed schedule of just seven months.
The Shanghai Expo 2010 was just one of more than 50 Expos completed by Electrosonic. These events demand advanced skills, technical expertise and significant resources to deliver the visions and requirements of multiple clients and participants. They provide an opportunity to showcase the latest audiovisual and interactive technologies to support the needs of countries and global organizations presenting their story to an international audience.
Giant screens and sophisticated projection techniques tell exhibitors’ stories to millions of visitors.