The Financial Times
The Financial Times is famous for keeping its readers in the know on global trends and changes in world markets. For three days they shared some of this information in a big way. From March 27th to the 29th, Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal was transformed by enormous 3D projections, including an interactive map controlled by 225 square feet of interconnected sensors. In addition to the map, the projection displayed infographic animations about the world economy, focusing on the United States, emerging economies, mobile use, recession, and recovery.
DDB UK brought on Klip Collective to create the spectacular 3D animations and projection mapping, and Klip brought us in to create the interactive experience.
Our biggest challenge was to make an interface that would work in Grand Central. A bustling transportation hub, this venue presented special constraints, including an unpredictable and varied number of simultaneous users, changing light conditions, and an extremely limited set-up time. In order to accurately track the position of the visitors, we created a huge interface mat with an array of pressure sensors, each of which corresponded to a portion of the projected world map.
As visitors moved across the mat, they activated sensor after sensor. Behind the scenes, these signals were routed through 16 Arduino micro-controllers inside the mat, and then directed to one central computer. Each sensor triggered one of the hundreds of 3D animations on the projected map. Because the mat interface was modular, and custom-fabricated ahead of time, it was possible to assemble it in only an hour. And since the mat used pressure sensors, there were no concerns about light conditions or about positioning and mounting cameras or IR sensors.
Client: The Financial Times
Agency: DDB UK
Production Company, Projection Mapping & 3D Animation: Klip Collective
Interactive Design and Development: Bluecadet Interactive