AT&T and Gensler architectural firm worked with Moment Factory, a multimedia studio in Montréal , to develop an engaging, immersive multimedia experience in central Dallas. Starting with strategic project development, the studio designed the experience and integrated the content and digital platform.
The AT&T Discovery District, a public space and entertainment precinct located within AT&T’s global corporate headquarters campus, built to hold live performances, art exhibitions and other events, largely outdoors and via large-format screens.
A 104-foot, 6K media wall stands as the focal point of the installation displaying immersive imagery, sports events and film screenings for visitors, employees and residents across 18 million pixels.
Content powered by real-time data leaves a fluid boundary between the physical and digital elements. For example, wind and solar data power a virtual future neighbourhood, that causes visitors to consider how natural energy can transform cities. In another piece, real-time data from tracking the movement of planets, moons and stars, drives a nightly virtual journey through the solar system.
The AT&T Discovery District also includes two trellises, two stories high, holding nearly 1,800m of LED and a 9m tall signature Globe sculpture. Its mirrored outer surface reflects the surrounding buildings. Walking inside the Globe, visitors see and hear an interactive light and sound experience that senses and responds to location and movement. A content management system enables coordinated content across the Globe, LED trellis and Media Wall.
Complex Video Over IP
To produce those interactive, data-driven kinds of attractions, creating a system that could handle a variety of content and sources, and generate graphics in real time, was an important part of Moment Factory’s role. To meet that requirement, their team used the NDI connectivity standard for capturing, transmitting and receiving, low-latency, frame-accurate video and audio at high quality over IP. NDI is source-agnostic, which allowed the graphics team to use the 3D, rendering and compositing software they prefer.
“NDI has allowed us to design a system that can supply generative content – dynamic systems able to use an artist’s instructions to generate a series of artwork events – from any real-time engine. The result is visual experiences for spectators that blend with the environment – at different times, for different audiences,” said Matthieu Gourd, Technical Director, Moment Factory. "NDI will be one of the key components to shorten the distance between our artists and the physical creative canvas.”
Montreal to Dallas
The need for remote live production has been another factor of the project for Moment Factory to manage. Their studio is in Montréal, which is over 2,700km from Dallas. NDI connectivity was used again, in this case to support low-latency team collaboration over an IP network even when the artists and engineers couldn’t travel to a project site for scheduling, health and budgetary reasons. For example, NDI enables designers to remotely review content on the District Media Wall in Dallas, while switching is handled by software at Moment Factory in Montreal.
“NDI was particularly helpful for our teams during the pandemic as it allowed us to deliver the AT&T project out of Montreal – actually, we only had to keep one person on-site in Dallas,” said Céline Mornet, Moment Factory Innovation Producer. www.ndi.tv