Dataton guides visitors in space

The first exhibit at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center visitor complex in the USA uses live theatre, interactive exhibits and media components to examine the near future of space exploration. ‘Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted’ was designed by BRC Imagination Arts and AV systems were designed and installed by Electrosonic.

The immersive exhibit gallery features large-scale digital projections, dimensional exhibits and interactive experiences.

The exhibit audiovisual systems were designed and installed by Electrosonic. They include a 12ft x 8ft portal looking out onto a rear-projection screen that displays enormous images of future destinations like the moon, Mars and nebulas for the introductory exhibit, ‘Your Destination’. A flat-screen LCD display titled ‘On The Shoulders Of Giants’ showcases the next generation of spacecraft. Five large12ft x 15ft trapezoidal exhibit screens immerse the guests in the future of space travel. Six more screens of various shapes and sizes, including a 14ft wide 16:9 screen, a 12ft diameter screen and four trapezoidal screens, support the main show ‘Explorers Wanted’.

Twice every hour, the entire exhibit is transformed into a live immersive show environment for a 12-minute presentation called ‘Explorers Wanted’, in which a NASA ‘Communicator’ walks guests through new missions, new discoveries and the immense challenges of space exploration.

“During the show, visitors sit on bench seats, surrounded by digital imagery, as the Communicator inspires the audience to become part of a NASA mission and the future of space exploration,” says Tom Brighton, Media Support Specialist at Electrosonic. “The main show is displayed on a series of fixed, geometrically shaped screens. The primary content is shown on a large 14ft wide center screen and a secondary 12ft diameter circular screen, stage right. Two additional projectors display content on four trapezoidal screens, which grow progressively larger in size as they arc over the top of the centre screen.”

The exhibit and show is run by a Medialon Manager control system with content served by ten Watchout players feeding nine projectors and one monitor. Electrosonic took advantage of WATCHOUT’s inherent programmability to ensure that seven of the projectors could display content onto the nine trapezoidal screens without images bleeding onto the wall. They also created a custom user interface for the WATCHOUT master PC controller so that staff can add updated content to the pre-programmed show to keep it fresh and relevant.

“The fact that all the screens are odd shapes and sizes makes the show very visually striking, but did present technical challenges,” Brighton reflects.