Case Study – QUT

The Sphere – Kelvin Grove Campus

THE BRIEF

Following the worldwide success of the award-winning ‘Cube’ project, Pro AV Solutions was again selected as the technology partner for Queensland University of Technology’s new, state-of-the-art atrium AV system, located in the newly built $94.4 million Education Precinct building on the Kelvin Grove campus, in Brisbane.

The Precinct provides contemporary flexible and technology-equipped teaching spaces, and at its centerpiece is the Sphere provided by Pro AV Solutions – a five-metre diameter LED globe suspended over two floors which is complemented by a 4.8 metre wide interactive digital LED video wall screen.

The goal for QUT seemed simple in the beginning – to create another highly acclaimed and recognised technology-rich showpiece in the main atrium space of this newly developed building. However, it was a massive undertaking, with the sheer size and scale of the LED globe, this project scope was not short of challenges that had to be overcome by the Pro AV Solutions team. As the first of its kind in the world, the Sphere is comprised of 12.7 million individual LED lights, allowing the sphere to operate in full daylight.

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THE SOLUTION

The Sphere was sourced from leading display technology company Leyard – Linso and weighs in at a modest 3.5 tonnes. It is comprised of 1040 individual panels and a total of 12.7 million 3mm pixels. Each pixel is an individual LED light. Built and tested in China by Leyard-owned company Linso, once complete the Sphere was dismantled and shipped to Brisbane and then assembled in the atrium of the new Education Precinct building at QUT by the Pro AV Solutions team.

The University needed the ability to replicate virtual reality-developed content onto the Sphere with higher than 4K native resolution. Due to these requirements, a custom video processor was required to merge the PC signal which is sent to the Sphere in two halves via customised video transport over fibre. The first Sphere program was developed by QUT teacher education and early childhood researchers in collaboration with QUT’s Visualisation and eResearch (ViseR) team. It demonstrates the importance of the early years in brain development and how everyday activities like playing, games and reading, fire activity in a child’s brain.

Audio for the large open atrium space is brought to life by twelve Bose Edge Max speakers concealed within each floor’s ceiling space, directed towards the sphere, Bose Digital Sound Processing and Amplification provides the signal management to the speakers via a Dante network. Wireless radio microphone technology provides voice reinforcement to the space for presentations.

The system has a central AMX control system with a 10″ wall mount touch panel and mobile iPad to enable signal switching, power & audio control. The automation system also provides a service mode for testing and also to lower the sphere via a series of motorised winch assemblies to provide physical access to the sphere for any future servicing requirements.

The Pro AV Solutions team provided QUT with a complete “turnkey” solution fully installed, tested and commissioned onsite at QUT, including all rigging, internal power & cable management and motorised lifting assemblies. Pro AV Solutions will provide all ongoing technical support and maintenance for the solution well into the future.

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THE RESULTS

The LED Sphere and the complementary digital video wall touch screen is an extraordinary example of enhancing the student learning experience and continuing to provide quality teaching and education, with a changing menu of innovative and interactive content. These facilities have been purpose-designed and reflect QUT’s commitment to applying technology and immersive digital environments in teaching, research and engagement. Future programs developed may include augmented reality to enhance the 3D learning experience. A climate change simulator is also under development.

The Leyard LED sphere solution from the Linso factory was used as they had the smallest pixel pitch available (3mm) and were able to build a sphere 5 metres in diameter.
The full Leyard – Linso product family is represented here by Midwich Australia whom are a highly regarded vendor partner for Pro AV Solutions.

The Pro AV Solutions site engineers worked tirelessly to fully assemble the sphere and install, test and commission all of the surrounding technology to bring yet another world class QUT project to life in readiness for the universities February orientation week events, and the opening of this new building.

“This is a significant investment by the university in enhancing the student learning experience and continuing to provide quality teaching and education. These facilities have been purpose-designed and reflect QUT’s commitment to applying technology and immersive digital environments in teaching, research and engagement.”

QUT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Sheil

PROJECT GALLERY

Photography by Anthony Weate ©

VIDEO

By Alchemedia

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