The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was commissioned by the current King of Saudi Arabia to encourage, excite and inform the Saudi youth about the benefits and innovations of atomic and renewable energies earlier.
AllofUs has created the concept, design and bespoke software for a central hall interactive in the museum, working alongside Beck Interiors, KCA London, Electrosonic, SI Electrical and LED. The multi-disciplinary design consultancy got the work through KCLE, the London-based exhibition design team who collaborated with AllofUs on exhibits for the Science Museum.
The brief was to make an interactive centrepiece for the 27m long central hall of the museum, to help bring together the surrounding fifty or so exhibits, from lively hands-on interactive displays for the kids to in-depth AV exhibits for the older visitors. It was an ambitious undertaking, involving projection mapping and multi user interaction, and an AllofUs team had to fly out to Riyadh to put the installation in place.
AllofUs developed custom software for the piece, leveraging the openFrameworks toolkit to project rich, real-time visuals onto the surface of three 7 metre long wave-shaped tables. 9 Kinect cameras are used to detect user movement over the tables and trigger interactive animation and content. The Kinect inputs and projector outputs had to be calibrated to match the physical space onsite in Riyadh. To aid this process the team developed a solution that allowed them to calibrate settings in real-time using Xbox controllers.
Four alternative energies are visualised - Solar, Wind, Geo-thermal and Atomic – with LED light strips complimenting the visuals, and as the cameras detect user movement, visitors' gestures directly trigger animation and content, revealing factual content bubbles, all in dual language and fully integrated into the visuals. AllofUs also created some LED walls in the museum with updatable dual language content.
The exhibition is currently open to schools and educational groups and will open fully to the public in the future.
Chris Mullany, Senior Creative Technologist, AllofUs said: “Helping to develop the Central Hall installation at KACARE was a great experience. It involved a range of technology solutions and the end result was really immersive. Finally seeing people interact with it is very rewarding.”
To see a video of the work visit the Mishkat Visitor Centre page on AllofUs's Vimeo channel at http://bit.ly/AEjzfy