Intel's InfoScape interactive cube wowed the crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year where Video Applications Inc. (VAI) provided hardware support for the attraction that was conceived and developed by Foghorn Creative. CNN.com featured InfoScape on its cover and declared it one of the “10 Cool Toys from CES” while DVICE.com touted its “jaw-dropping graphics” and Inside Scoop called it “the best thing at this year's CES.”
So what exactly generated all this buzz? The InfoScape “cube” was actually composed of two 7-foot square, high-resolution (1920x1920) touchscreen interfaces that met at right angles. Powered by single Intel Core i7 processors, the InfoScape screens rendered over 500 image-based, live content links at a time from sources like Flickr and Google News. Dozens of users at a time could select and navigate the graphic links in real time via a multi-touch interface.
“The challenge from Intel was very straightforward: Show us a new way to interact with data that we've never seen before,” says Don Richards, creative director with San Francisco-based Foghorn Creative. “And do it with a standard, off-the-shelf machine.”
Foghorn combined an Intel Core i7 PC with a modern, cutting-edge aesthetic to deliver graphics and information that attracted and engaged CES attendees who are accustomed to innovative displays. “Compared to traditional media, this type of alternative, technology-driven marketing is often more effective because it essentially demands a response. Now that the technology that Intel provides is so incredibly powerful, these new techniques can be combined with imagery of incredible quality...” notes Richards. “Advertising and marketing can now take the best of interactive, broadcast-quality imagery, mix in a high level of graphic design, and deliver a powerful package to consumers.”
VAI supplied “nose-to-tail” projection and image management support for Foghorn during the development process and installation, according to Richards. The Intel Core i7 PC output high-resolution video to a Christie Vista Spyder, furnished by VAI, which performed a vertical blend on the two horizontal images and sent the output to four Christie Roadster HD10k-m projectors. The imagery for each InfoScape screen was entirely generated from one computer.
Richards points out that onlookers could select from 18 different streams of information (i.e. including Flickr, Twitter, info about the processors, and info about Intel's Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign) and all could be sorted along different parameters. But the system was data agnostic in principal. “You can feed it most anything and use it with extremely large data sets.”
He calls VAI “our partners” in the high-profile project. “They really extended themselves throughout the process, providing space for us to work in and making gear for the mock ups affordable for us. Ultimately the project looked great and our client was thrilled.”
Elements Group worked with Foghorn in developing the digital interface and the graphic design. The physical display was designed by 2LK and produced by The Taylor Group.
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