QUT HiQ Centre

New QUT project signals the start of interactivity on massive LED screens. It’s visitor engagement on a grand scale.

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QUT’s new HiQ Centre at their Gardens Point campus has succeeded in providing students and prospective students with a campus digital engagement experience beyond anything yet seen in Australia. It is a new technique that will be deployed by designers across a number of applications in the years ahead.

The creative technology partner QUT chose for this endeavor is Corporate Initiatives (Ci), a specialist AV integrator highly acclaimed for digital display projects nationally. The project task was to create an interactive and informative engagement space for all the digital aspects of student life. The request of Ci was to make it exciting and engaging. What the university got back in response simply amazed them. It was far beyond anything they had researched.

Due a fortunate set of circumstances Ci was able to involve world-leading practitioners on this project. QUT was already a good customer of Videro, a German content management service the university had originally selected over 30 other digital signage systems for all their campuses. This meant Ci could engage the Videro team on this project as well, engineers who just happened to lead the world in large-scale screen interaction having recently completed Sega World in Japan. The university wanted something breathtaking and they got it.

In order to engage visitors at first sight, Ci installed a right-angled, ultra-high definition LED display, comprising of 567 VideroLED ultra fine (2.4mm) pixel pitch modules, measuring a total of 17.5 metres across all 3 sections and with a height of 2.6m. (At around 42sqm in total, it would be impossible not to notice.) The content and interaction would be driven by the Videro content management system, a system QUT had already successfully deployed in hundreds of locations and knew it loved.

This time however it would be a new custom version of Videro able to provide an amazing large-scale interactive experience, something far beyond the reach of an ordinary touch screen. People would be able to interact in ways more appropriate to a giant display. Special custom Videro software would enable the “swooshing” of content from a tablet device to the main display, and automatically enable “Gesture and Swipe” interactivity via Kinect cameras. This is similar to the experience Videro developed for Sega World, a global leader in theme parks and a popular tourist destination in Japan. The use of this software and hardware would put QUT on the cutting edge of such technology internationally.

QUT’s giant screen is able to run 15 videos on the wall simultaneously, all of them smooth and jitter free, all of them manageable interactively. Up to ten participants can interact with the wall at the same time, reducing waiting times considerably. Audio is carefully zoned to five individual segments with minimal spillover. It’s a great way to impart information. There is also an inbuilt 3D interactive games engine able to take the level of engagement even higher with game content.

As an added bonus, the portion of the screen facing the window can also be used after hours with interaction still possible through the glass. Screen content can be tailored accordingly. The HiQ centre can interact with students 24/7.

The LED display itself is also worthy of special mention. It visibly excites people with its vivid, high quality imagery and provides an unbroken image brighter and bolder than anything an LCD wall can hope to achieve. The days of such LCD walls are numbered. To deploy a floor to ceiling LED screen viewed at close range like this was considered unthinkable just a few short years ago. These days, however, pixel pitches have become tight enough for LED display screens to be deployed just about anywhere.

The new QUT HiQ LED wall successfully combines scale, brightness and hi def imagery with interactivity suitable for use with a screen at this size. It’s a game changer, and something architects and designers working on engagement spaces will need to know about. Many more such walls can be expected throughout Australia in the years ahead, whether for education, the workplace, the corporate lobby, retail, museum or government. This is technology with a very bright future. Surfing big screen content via a big wave will simply prove irresistible.

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