Electrosonic complete the detailed design, supply, installation, set up and commissioning of the media hardware for the themed exhibition areas in the European Parliament Visitors’ Centre.
The new visitors’ centre at the European Parliament, Brussels, with audiovisual hardware designed and installed by audiovisual experts Electrosonic, has seen more than 120, 000 guests through its doors from across the world so far. The multimedia attraction takes visitors on a “unique and personal journey into the heart of European politics” via a variety of interactive exhibits.
The state-of-the-art centre is now accessible in 23 languages and guides guests through the political landscape via a personal electronic multimedia guide. This allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the experience, as they learn how policy decisions are made and how they affect the lives of European residents. The multi-lingual signage and media used had a huge effect on the AV techniques employed by Electrosonic, who engineered and installed the main exhibition audio-visual hardware for Atelier Bruckner of Stuttgart.
The project was awarded to Electrosonic following a Europe-wide competitive tender for the design and installation of different themed areas, which include two 360º theatres. Further hardware needed to carry out the project was also commissioned by Electrosonic, which includes almost 100 LCD panels, a contemporary voxel display featuring 13, 000 globes, 140 computers, multichannel audio, 18 racks of equipment and 40 kilometres of signal cable.
The audiovisual company also integrated RFID hardware for the multimedia guides, which were supplied by NOUS of Austria. These use repackaged Apple iPod touchscreens with augmented RFID technology to provide multilingual, customised exhibition interactivity.
The centre hosts a number of exhibits, including “Prologue”, which is situated in the first series of exhibits and has a 33-foot table with models of the European Parliament buildings and a ticker display. “Treaty Tables” outline the documents that produced the current EU on a number of 40 inch table-format LCD touchscreens.
There is also information and bios on all of the 754 MEPs and visitors can take the opportunity to have their say by voting on current issues in one of the three “Polling Booths”.
The largest exhibit is the 12 minute 360º presentation, “A Parliament for Europe” where fourteen Panasonic PT D6000ELK projectors produce an edge-blended image across a total screen area of approximately 1, 600 square feet. Here, guests can listen to debates and watch how legislative processes work as well as access MEP information on one of the 36, 19 inch touchscreens set into visitor desks.
A second theatre, also hosting a 360º show, has a similar set-up along with 22 touchscreens and 15.4 inch widescreen portrait orientations. A Dataton Watchout system enabled Electrosonic to provide the synchronised playout, edge-blending and warping necessary for the shows.
“United in Diversity” has an exhibit where a 2260 square foot floor map of Europe is embedded with 600 RFID tags, allowing visitors to learn more about the places they select using one of 12 trolley-like mobile displays. This is possible due to the webcam embedded into the base of the mobile display, which shows an image of the floor.
When a tag is detected, the monitor outputs detailed information for the area in the visitor’s own language.
Electrosonic teamed up and collaborated with nine other companies on the Parlamentarium, which involved around 700 workers together. The company delivered and fine-tuned the hardware necessary for a project using innovative pedagogy and technology. Most of the source equipment is mounted in a dedicated control room and a dual media server system with RAID storage meets the need for continuous updating.
Electrosonic will provide support to the Parlamentarium over the next five years and perform preventative maintenance visits, as well as two-day call-outs and telephone support.