Beyond Rubik's Cube

Overview

“Beyond Rubik’s Cube” opened in 2014 to celebrate 40 years of the colourful Rubik’s Cube. The 7,000 square foot exhibit features three exploration zones with the themes of Invent, Play and Inspire. They offer tantalising puzzles, robotic manipulations, music, art and original artefacts, which become creative platforms for the exploration of Professor Ernő Rubik’s Cube and the culture it has inspired. The exhibition was designed by Liberty Science Centre’s Exhibits Development Group and fabricated by Maltbie, a Kubik company, who appointed Electrosonic to take responsibility for audio-visual design, integration and installation.

Highlight

A giant 10ft (3m) tall Rubik’s Cube that can be controlled by visitors.

Technology

  • Real time fractal images projected by ultra short (0.3) focal length lenses
  • 100-inch Ideum Pano multi-touch table for eight or ten players
  • Remote monitoring, updating and re-configuration of exhibits
  • Samsung tablets used both as exhibits and as instruction panels for mechanical interactives

Challenge

The principal challenge was that the exhibition was designed for touring; after six months at Liberty Science Centre, it started a seven-year international road trip.

Solution

Electrosonic coordinated with a number of media producers to create an exhibition that can easily travel worldwide. A unique system provided by Electrosonic enables the Science Centre to act as host, remotely monitor the exhibit and update content when it travels. Twenty tablets run interactive apps as exhibits, and can be configured for different languages. The exhibit begins as visitors enter through a passageway where multiple cameras, motion sensing devices and projectors with ultra short-throw lenses generate real time expanding geometric images in response to people walking into the exhibit area. A 55-inch multi-touch table offers visitors the chance to tackle designing their own twisty puzzle; a 100-inch multi-touch table is big enough for eight or ten players to collaborate on making tessellation patterns. The Cube Culture exhibit is outfitted with multiple monitors located alongside display cases of vintage cube-related ephemera, displaying videos about the history of the Rubik’s Cube and commercials that helped make it a marketing phenomenon. Electrosonic created a ‘mobile’ control room for the exhibition, which can be moved anywhere it is required.

Impact

This exhibition puts a new twist on the traditional Rubik’s Cube. It is immediately appealing to today’s tech-savvy youngsters and at the same time retains the fascination of its long history.

 

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