LED experience at Rockefeller Center

Thursday, 10 August 2006
LED experience at Rockefeller Center
USA - High atop New York's Rockefeller Center is a unique, interactive space that takes the capabilities of intelligent LED lighting to new heights. Conceptualized by Electroland of Los Angeles, the 'Target Interactive Breezeway' is an imaginatively lit passage that connects the Center's top-floor observation decks. Its intention is to engage visitors as they pass through by tracing their movement with intelligently controlled light.

According to Electroland partner Damon Seeley: "Color Kinetics' LED-based fixtures were the only technology that could effectively deliver the full RGB spectrum in a small package, while keeping power consumption to a reasonable level. We required a tried and true product with manufacturer support to do the job on a fast-track basis."

The space comprises a glowing ceiling and walls that are entirely lit by LED systems. Approximately 1,300 iColor Cove MX Powercore units were employed as individually controllable, 1-foot "pixels." The units receive power and data from compact Data Enabler devices, which eliminate the need for low-voltage power supplies. The Target brand is represented by bullseye logo light fixtures integrated within the interactive pixel array.

"Each pixel in the intelligent skin is composed of four iColor Cove MX units, tightly grouped," says Seeley. "These groupings are located in all available wall and ceiling surfaces, behind translucent glass and backlit by white LED strips. With support from Color Kinetics we developed our own custom software for controlling the fixtures. Our application sends UDP packets directly to the bank of Data Enablers to generate patterns in the intelligent skin."

The designers engaged TYZX Inc to provide an elaborate tracking system that takes advantage of Color Kinetics' precisely controllable lighting systems for a truly immersive and interactive environment. Data from four stereo video cameras is combined to locate and individually track up to 30 separate visitors as they enter and walk around the space. Upon entry each visitor is automatically assigned a "personality" by the 3-D tracking system and is in turn followed by individualized light colours and patterns. The designers in Los Angeles are able to continuously monitor this New York space remotely via a live web-cam and high-speed Internet connection, and are able to upload and adjust new patterns remotely. New response patterns are tested on a regular basis.

According to Electroland the space "represents an attempt to translate video-game interactivity, computer intelligence and personalised electronic experiences into an environmental experience".

(Chris Henry)

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