Panasonic Avionics, the world leader in in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) solutions, approached us to create a high impact focal point at the entrance of the new booth for the 2016 Aircraft Interior Expo in Hamburg. The design called for nine Panasonic 4K curved displays arranged in two horizontal groups on each side of the entrance and set to follow the curvature of the external walls. The space had to be dynamic and evolve throughout the three-day event, reflecting not only the announcements, press releases and events, but also showcasing the global nature of their business.
Neutral Digital worked closely with the architects to develop both hardware and software solutions to mix real-time data with high-definition videos seamlessly stretching the entirety of these nine screens. The dynamic data was to include real-time weather for Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Dubai, London, New York and Tokyo. Live Tweets were also included, as well as Press Releases and fun “Did You Know” trivia about Panasonic and their legacy in the avionics industry.
Our solution used cost effective off-the-shelf hardware using Unity3D as the main development platform. The real-time data aggregation was handled through a Node server running on a Raspberry Pi.
A series of abstract motion graphics videos were produced to be used as backgrounds for social media and news content. Location specific videos from our library of 360° footage complemented the weather data. Finally, we designed layouts making full use of the unique super wide context. We used the HAP codec to encode all the videos and ensure efficient playback.
We developed a single Unity3D app to run on both the server and clients and made use of Unity3D’s low level networking and discovery API to simplify setup. Dynamic content updates were simply HTTP calls to our RasPi Node server at preset intervals.
This flexible architecture became crucial when we needed to add a third machine to drive the screen array. The setup scaled flawlessly and kept all three computer outputs synched throughout the day.