Pandoras Box powers City Walk
UAE: Christie’s Pandoras Box is being used at Meraas’ City Walk development in Dubai to synchronise over 100 million pixels of content from Float4. The outdoor digital experience includes more than 30 LED installations, nearly 30 projectors, and a water fountain show that uses water screens.
‘Meraas wanted to differentiate themselves,’ said Alexandre Simionescu, co-founder of the Float4 studio. ‘One of the things they wanted to do was create a location that was pedestrian-friendly. It’s not something that you find in Dubai, so they’re very innovative. They like to question things beyond “can we do it bigger” and ask “can we do it better?”
‘When producing digital content for these types of installations, you need to understand what the technical implications are, so you can effectively take your idea and execute it,’ continued Mr Simionescu. ‘That’s one of the challenges: how do we produce content that can be used for advertising, ambience and shows on a different set of displays and make them work together? What do we do with an 85m wall, and the projection on the floor that’s 100m long, and then the water fountain? All are different aspect ratios and different technologies. It combined a lot of technologies in one place.’
The design studio worked with XYZ Cultural Technology to design a system powerful enough to synchronise and control all 100 million pixels. XYZ used Christie Pandoras Box Players, Managers and Widget Designer to manage the entire digital experience.
‘Christie Pandoras Box includes the strong technologies that let us achieve a synchronised and immersive space of this size,’ noted Eric Cyr, partner and co-founder of XYZ. ‘It is a server with strong acquisition capabilities that can keep all these playbacks in sync, and has a strong logic to create the schedules we need.’
Pandoras Box allowed XYZ to manage varied, scheduled content – including ambiance, advertising, and show content – on different surfaces while providing proof of playback to sync it all together. ‘There’s a daytime and night show, ambience, publicity – we were able to give them a system that synced,’ explained Mr Cyr. ‘The nice thing with Christie Pandoras Box is that one system always has the same content as the others. Just by changing the matrix and IP address, we were able to have a spare player in two minutes.’
‘City Walk has certainly succeeded in making themselves a stand out destination,’ concluded Mahesh Singh, Christie’s regional sales manager for the Middle East. ‘The combination of the water fountain, projection and LED screens – and the sheer scale of the installation – is truly a spectacle. It was a hugely ambitious project yet the complexity and synchronisation is perfectly executed with Christie Pandoras Box.’