Mishkat Centre - Wave Tables

Feb. 5, 2013

We were asked to come up with the concept and design for an interactive in the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The centre was commissioned by the King of Saudi Arabia to encourage, excite and inform the Saudi youth of today about the benefits and innovations of atomic and renewable energies, and our brief was to fill the 27m long central hall with a feature that brought all the exhibits together. 

We envisaged three 7 metre long wave-shaped interactive tables down the centre of the hall, covered in rotating real-time projected visuals of the four main groups of alternative energy – Solar, Wind, Geo-thermal and Atomic. We wanted LED light strips to compliment the visuals, and we wanted cameras to detect visitors' gestures, triggering animation and educational content on the table surfaces.

This was all feasible but there were a few challenges to surpass. First we needed to develop custom software for the piece, which we did by leveraging the openFrameworks toolkit. Secondly we had to get an AllofUs team to fly out to Riyadh to put the installation in place. Trickily, the Kinect inputs and projector outputs for the responsive tables needed to be calibrated to match that specific physical space so we couldn't do that until we were there, which is where it got interesting. In the end we developed a solution that allowed us to calibrate the settings in real-time using XBOX controllers.

The project wasn't ours alone – we worked with Beck Interiors, KCA London, Electrosonic, SI Electrical and LED Curve to complete it. We also created some LED wall displays for the museum, with full updatable dual language content.

To see the finished project head to our vimeo page.