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Case Study: Illuminarium Experiences

Illuminarium Experiences, a breakthrough global experiential entertainment company, is creating the next generation in immersive experiences, enabling visitors to experience recreated worlds. Actual filmed content is used to showcase real-world, authentic sights and scenes, presented in custom-designed venues called “Illuminariums.”

Illuminariums are reprogrammable, immersive theaters that surround visitors in a sensory space of sight, sound, and scale. Illuminariums are brought to life by 4K laser projectors, audio beams, in-floor haptics, and realistic aromas. Illuminarium Experiences was created by Alan Greenberg, RadicalMedia, and Rockwell Group, and operated by Legends; the project brings together best-in-class partners in content creation, theatrical design, interactive technologies and venue operations.

The first Illuminarium opened in July in Atlanta, Georgia, with its debut spectacle, WILD: A Safari Experience. Through a convergence of cutting-edge technologies, the immersive 8,000 square-foot entertainment complex showcases the beauty and splendor of Africa’s most exotic animals in their natural habitats.

“Delivering this sort of immersive experience requires us to have the highest-quality audio and video,” said Brian Allen, executive vice president of technology and content for Illuminarium Experiences. “Every layer of our technology contributes to the experience that we are trying to create. Our content is incredibly realistic…we have to look closely at the little details — like color spaces and the light output — to create an immersive experience.”

For signal distribution, Illuminarium relies on Lightware, whose UBEX (Ultra Bandwidth Extender) is being used to deliver uncompressed video and audio content with zero perceived latency. “We integrated UBEX because of the actual lossless quality, incredible flexibility, and reliable video routing,” Allen says. “We also pulled more fiber for each location as we anticipate signals will have a higher bitdepth, more color information, and higher resolution in the future. An AV-over-IP system provided us with the flexibility for expansion.”

UBEX is an uncompressed AV-over-IP solution. It can operate as a virtual matrix using a standard Ethernet switch as a crosspoint, or work as a conventional point-to-point extender. The unit allows for uncompressed, high-fidelity signal extension at 4K UHD at 60Hz (4:4:4) using packet-based transmission. UBEX can simultaneously transmit and receive content with deep-color streams and multi-channel audio.

Illuminarium’s debut attraction, WILD, transports visitors to Africa through cinematic content captured from across South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. WILD will be followed by SPACEWALK, a journey through our Solar System where audiences will experience what it’s like to walk on the surface of the moon and Mars.

“We create different rendering pipelines for each show,” Allen continued. “It was important that we integrated a flexible solution, like UBEX, that enables us to utilize existing technology as we create new shows. UBEX allows direct connectivity to different inputs and components; that provides us with unparalleled flexibility across the massive facility.”

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