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Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Giant Heart relies on projectiondesign®


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Unique ‘double layer’ projection to show heart’s inner workings to millions of Museum guests

Breaking new ground in the creative deployment of high-resolution video in visitor attractions, Norway’s projectiondesign® has supplied seven of its high resolution DLP® projectors to the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago for its stunning new Giant Heart within the YOU! The Experience exhibit.  Following the opening of YOU! The Experience in late 2009, thousands of people have visited this educational exhibit over the past six months including local school groups.

Located in the Museum’s Abbott Hall, YOU! The Experience comprehensively showcases the connection between the human mind, body and spirit in the 21st century. The 15, 000-square-foot exhibit provides a fascinating, hands-on opportunity for visitors to explore and optimize their personal health, fitness and well-being.  The Giant Heart is a focal point of the exhibit, and allows guests to see different interior and exterior views of this amazing virtual organ-it can even beat in time with a guest’s own pulse.

Conceived and designed by Thinc Design with AV systems integration carried out by BBI Engineering, Inc., the Giant Heart uses a major technological and architectural innovation: a steel “XURF” projection surface developed by Milgo / Lalvani and created by custom fabricator of architectural metal, MILGO/BUFKIN, based in Brooklyn, New York. This surface acts as a projection screen for two projectiondesign F12 and three F22 projectors. These units project a single, seamless moving image, with content coming from one of four different pre-programmed movies, each designed to emphasize a different aspect of human heart function. All computer-generated, 3D animated media for the Giant Heart was produced by scientific animation specialist firm XVIVO.  

Mark Roos at BBI Engineering, Inc. comments: “We selected projectiondesign for this project for many reasons, chief among them the company’s ability to custom-configure and color-match the exact units that would be supplied to us. The company always takes an active interest in the end application and, as an integrator, that is incredibly valuable to us. Suppliers really don’t come better-informed than projectiondesign.”

Concealed behind the large front-projection surface is a two-channel rear-projection screen utilizing two additional projectiondesign F22s. Designed to show the inner workings of the heart, this screen is normally invisible, but can be partially or entirely revealed by visitors via a touchscreen interface, thanks to a soft, central image mask within the external projection surface that can be faded up or down. Four videos, each showing a different aspect of cardiac activity, provide content for this second projection screen. The videos for both screens are stored on customized Delta Media Servers from 7thSense.

In addition to selecting which types of heart activity they want to view, and in what proportion, Museum guests can also synchronize the multimedia show to their own heart rate, using a pair of hand grips on the Giant Heart’s control console.

Available in a choice of WUXGA (1920 x 1200), 1080p (1920 x 1080) or SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) resolutions, projectiondesign’s F12 and F22 both feature the latest VIDI light processing technology, giving improved image quality and performance, particularly in blending areas – making them especially suitable for seamless multiple projected images such as those used in the Giant Heart. Both also feature projectiondesign’s proprietary RealColor management suite for easy, perfect on-site matching and calibration of multiple projectors.

Commenting on this latest application of projectiondesign technology, Anders Løkke, international marketing and communications manager, projectiondesign, says: “It is always great to see our systems being used in new and creative ways, and visitor attractions don’t get much more compelling than the Giant Heart. It is a breathtakingly simple concept, brilliantly executed by all companies involved, and the perfect showcase for the accuracy, definition, resolution, and reliability of our projectors.”

For more information about the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, visit YOU! The Experience was made possible through the generosity of Abbott; the Abbott Fund, the philanthropic foundation of Abbott; and the Pritzker Foundation. Additional major funding provided by J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family, Mazza Foundation, and Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison.

About projectiondesign

projectiondesign is a Norwegian company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of high performance projectors for professional, business and consumer applications. Amongst its core markets are high resolution scientific visualization, visual training and simulation, medical imaging, broadcast and post production, public media and entertainment. Numerous industry milestones that distinguish projectiondesign’s award winning, innovative technology include the introduction of the world’s first single-chip SXGA DLP projector in 2002, the first commercially available 1080p DLP projector in 2006, the first WUXGA resolution DLP projector, and the first portable and high-resolution active 3D stereoscopic projector in 2008. In 2009, projectiondesign introduced its first 3-chip projector and debuted LED illumination. 2010 signifies the company’s first image warp and blend product with the MIPS processors, as well as the world premiere of the WQXGA resolution (2, 560 x 1, 600) projector, and revolutionary patented Remote Light Source technology. The entire professional product range is warranted for 24/7 usage. projectiondesign is based in Fredrikstad (Norway), and has offices in Singapore, Mumbai, Dubai, Cape Town, Milan, Bilbao, Stuttgart, Meteren, and Liverpool, and has representation in New York.


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