Technology from BrightSign, LLC, a global market leader in digital signage media players, has been used to power a continuously rotating 4m2 digital glass cube at Pixoul Gaming, a new state of the art virtual reality (VR) and Esports hub in Abu Dhabi.
The impressive structure, which was created by Dubai based digital media studio and systems integrator DigiComm, is believed to be a world first because of its size, weight and kinetics. It incorporates 38 BrightSign XD234 media players powering synchronised content across 123 55” and 49” LG display units. As well as being fully encased in screens, the large cube houses a walk-in room that is also lined on all sides and above with digital displays. The whole installation weighs around 4 tonnes and can carry up to six people at a time.
The concept was devised by Pixoul’s general manager Paul Hamilton and his team and realised by DigiComm after the customized media specialist won the project in a competitive tender. It dominates Pixoul’s atmospheric and colourfully lit entrance hall, providing an immersive storytelling experience to gamers arriving at the venue.
Because Pixoul is a VR attraction, it was important to create an impactful display that was representative of the games, which are themselves largely invisible. Exciting abstract sci-fi content created by DigiComm using BrightAuthor is displayed on the cube’s exterior, setting the tone for the experience to follow. On entering its interior room, players watch a looped three-minute audio visual production created by Pixoul’s game designers Robocom VR. A virtual robot guide explains what to expect from a visit to the unique world of the Pixoul Metaverse and how to engage in the activities on offer. When they exit, visitors face a different part of the space than when they entered.
Inside the cube, the location of the audio content is changed at different points on the timeline by the BrightSign players, so that it always comes from the robot figure, wherever it appears on screen, making people turn to look in the right direction.
BrightSign players were selected not only for their special audio features but also for their exceptional robustness, ability to fit in an extremely compact space between two screens without any ventilation and the ease with which they can be synchronised with each other. They also enable all the content to be stored within the cube itself, avoiding the need to transport media off the rotating platform via slip rings to a separate server room, which would have been far more complex and costly.
“The synchronisation works amazingly well and using BrightSign saved Pixoul around 300,000 Dirhams (USD 81,000),” said Abdul Bakhrani, CEO of DigiComm, who has worked with Hamilton on several projects. “We’re very proud of this installation. As far as we know, nothing like it has ever been done before. A structure of this size and weight, rotating on a 6m platform with an error tolerance of 2mm, with all the transport of power involved and everything synchronised across so many screens – it’s quite a feat of engineering.”
Speed and success
The cost effectiveness of their proposed solution and the fact that they could provide an end-to-end service, including design, hardware and content, clinched the project for DigiComm, who then delivered it in just 45 days. The platform and the skeleton of the cube were manufactured in Dubai, while a seven strong DigiComm team handled the system integration and content creation in-house.
Ann Holland, vice president, Marketing at BrightSign said, “Abdul Bakhrani and his team have really smashed the bar with this stellar project, which is as impressive technically as it is visually. Their imagination is truly amazing, and each project they deliver harnesses the capabilities of our players to their most powerful potential. We are excited to see how DigiComm has stretched BrightSign players to their limits in this exceptional installation.”
“We’re so happy with this design,” remarked Hamilton. “DigiComm delivered exactly what we wanted with no changes at all. There were some seriously talented and forward-thinking people involved in pulling this together.”
Opened in November 2022, Pixoul Gaming aims to be a magical, immersive destination for gamers of all levels from across and beyond the Middle East. With ten different heart pumping VR games and one of the region’s largest Esports arenas, it seeks to foster a world class gaming community, as well as enticing people to experience the excitement of virtual reality for the first time.