"This complex signage project takes full advantage of current digital technology. The ability of visitors to add to the Timeline using handheld devices is an imaginative way to integrate participation; especially unique is that Timeline additions remain even after visitors depart." —juror Edward J. Heinz Jr.
"Monumental scope and technological execution aside, this project captures the spirit of concert-going. The inherent understanding of what it means to share an experience—to contribute to and become part of a collective memory—is ultimately what makes this project so compelling." —juror Ranee Chung
Overview: At Club Nokia, a new 2,500 seat theater in downtown Los Angeles, the thoughts and experiences of visitors have become a permanent part of the building itself. In one of the most sophisticated digital signage projects ever created, Club Nokia's lobby features an ambitious digital timeline display that allows visitors to explore and relive all the events that have taken place at the theater. They can view video, text and photos of past events with floor and touch interfaces and contribute their own via SMS, MMS, e-mail, Bluetooth and WiFi using their mobile devices. The project exhibits the power of combining architectural spaces, large scale digital installations, mobile devices and user-generated content to create a one-of-a-kind concert experience.
• From concept to completion the project took four months
• The floor interfaces are a custom-built, industrial, Wii Fit-style interface, which allows users to stand and shift weight from one foot to the other to navigate an interactive timeline and required a good deal of calibration and adjustment from the software on the front-end.
• The LED interface takes input from all nine of the touch and floor interfaces and creates a nine-user visualization of all the visitor activity on the interfaces.
Comments by John Jones and Dave Edwards:
Was the topic/subject of the project a new one for you? "Several of the pieces of this project had been done previously for clients, but the tight integration of physical space, mobile and large-scale LED had not been done before."
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Often the most difficult aspect of innovative projects is explaining the iterative design process to clients. Certain features were decided on up-front in the process, but many others were decided during the course of it."
Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? "It is often difficult to get concert-goers to focus on more than just the concert, but since this installation is so tightly integrated with the concert experience, it's been very successful in the space."
Did you use any applications that you hadn't used before? "Serial connections to load sensors used in the floor interfaces."
How did this project compare with others you've worked on in the past? "This was a very innovative short-term project and gave us the opportunity to innovate in several different ways in a single installation."
How did time constraints affect your final solution? "We started building the software on the first day of the project to test specific ideas and to get started on an iterative technology-led design process. We would not have been able to complete the project on time if we had not started building features immediately."
Were there any specific demands that made the project easier or harder? "The final integration of software into hardware, which we could only approximate until we were on-site, made the project more challenging. Several last-minute adjustments were made with hardware and software in order to optimize the overall performance."
What would you do differently if you could start the project over? "We wouldn't do anything differently; it was a great exploratory experience. The iterative process we used to explore the design, technology and possibilities resulted in the high-quality outcome now in place."
Are there any interesting anecdotes? "The first drawings had free-standing kiosks to allow people to scroll through the timeline. But because the lobby area is also an exit enclosure, the LA County Fire Marshall killed the kiosks. At the time we were playing Nintendo Wii Fit and that's when we started thinking that floor interfaces with a floor mounted display could work."