Time Machine is an interactive experience at the Wu Kingdom Helv Relics Museum in Wuxi, China. The installation was brought together by multiple companies and designers in collaboration to create this large scale immersive experience.
The installation was completed in 2014 and is the world’s largest audiovisual immersion project, created to find new ways of exhibiting that went beyond the normal 2 dimensional format. The projected imagery carpeted every inch of the floor and walls in order for the spectators to be completely immersed and part of the artwork.
Additionally, the entire surface of the projected imagery was interactive and transformed in unison with the position and movement of the spectators. The total surface covered by video projections is 685 m2 making it the largest immersive and interactive screen in the world.
As the spectators enter the Time Machine they come through a completely sound proof curved passage way, acoustically isolating the installation. Once inside, there is a large curved wall that is used to project the main video piece, the floor is also a projection surface that interacts with spectator and the other walls are large mirrored areas that reproduce images of infinite space.
To make this immersive experience possible there is a huge amount of very complex state of the art technology involved. From the 22 synchronised super Hi-Res screens that use soft-edge blending technology to form one seamless image, to the system used to obtain the highest level of interactivity, equipped with interactive sensors with IR illuminators and special tracking cameras in combination with each projector to allow interactive manipulation of video content, driven by a special video server cluster, which is then also synchronised with the main screen passive servers. More than 30 computers process the signals from 14 cameras that capture images of the visitors to create 2D and 3D graphics in real time, which are then mixed with the film. The high-quality, multichannel audio system provides an incredible sound experience. The sound comes from thirty sources located in different parts of the room and increases the visitor’s feeling of being a part of the show. It is an extremely complex system that successfully shows the future capabilities of installation art.