WorldStage wrapped up a highly successful 2019 with record attendance for their innovative NEXT Demos at Wallplay in Brooklyn, New York and Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco. Each event immersed attendees in next-generation, highly advanced technologies through guided tours featuring exclusive new LED video solutions, Mixed and Augmented Reality applications, as well as dynamic video and audio environments.
WorldStage hosts their NEXT Demos annually, bringing together clients, partners and industry leaders to discuss and collaborate on new technologies and innovative solutions for the world of live events. “This year’s NEXT Demo was bigger than ever, and the turnout in New York and San Francisco was impressive,” notes Richard Steinau, Senior Vice President. “The NEXT Demos are a chance for us to showcase cutting-edge technologies in imaginative installations designed to inspire our clients.”
NEXT Demo guests were impressed with StageJack, a revolutionary new large-format, indoor LED video platform available exclusively from WorldStage. StageJack LED tiles are lightweight 4’ by 4’ (1200mm X 1200mm) carbon fiber panels that install in minutes saving considerable time and labor costs. StageJack enables clients to offer a far more dynamic canvas using LED video for scenic solutions at a cost far below the industry standard for LED. The giant StageJack installation at the NEXT Demos boasted 14,423,744 pixels across several walls of different shapes and sizes in various configurations and environments.
Guests were also treated to the premier of the ROE Sapphire 1.5mm LED tiles now available from WorldStage with upgraded image processing from Helios. These tiles enable WorldStage to exclusively offer 8K resolution LED walls with image processing far above the industry standard. The creative options with Sapphire allow for multiple configurations for large displays, tradeshow booths and VIP experiences that would benefit from the highest resolution rental LED displays in the industry.
As a North American Certified Solutions Provider for disguise, WorldStage demonstrated new Mixed Reality (MR) and Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities within the gx series of disguise media servers. Content creator Integrated Visions also collaborated with WorldStage to create Extended Reality (xR) content for The Cube, formed by WorldStage’s interactive LED i5FLOOR and two right-angle c3ONE LED videowalls. The experience gave guests the experience of being fully immersed in the middle of the Times Square subway station.
Also garnering a lot of attention was Pixel Forest, where guests explored a digital world with an interactive LED floor creating connections between themselves, other guests and towers of ROE LED strips. The entire experience was enhanced by an immersive soundscape based on the changing locations of guests in the forest. The interactivity was designed by Michael Kohler, Senior Manager of R+D at WorldStage, showcasing the abilities of TouchDesigner and Waltz to keep track of numerous people on a single interactive stage. Max and QLab were used by Kate Brown, from WorldStage Audio System Design, to help create the interactive soundscape.
WorldStage’s proprietary Waltz software enabled interaction between disparate technologies in the Pixel Forest and The Cube. Waltz software was also featured in an interactive table installation that invited guests to play. Touching the table created a colored current of water flowing from each participant with colors that mixed, splashed, collapsed and swirled to create an ever-changing sea of color. “Waltz has enabled us to bridge technologies that previously couldn’t be used together,” says Patrick Angle, the Head of Software Design and Development at WorldStage as well as the creator of the tabletop experience. “We believe in continually innovating and finding new ways to bring our clients’ ideas to life by letting designers focus on design without getting caught up in every technical detail, and Waltz enables that.”
Media artists Sam Cannon and Alex Czetwertynski created two remote polarization installations using WorldStage’s WhiteSpace technology. Cannon crafted a rotating chandelier through which guests saw content displayed on flanking screens while Czetwertynski played on the concept of reflective content showing of pool of dark water below a screen that appeared completely blank.
Other new technology displays included an AR demo featuring a stYpe camera system where text elements scenically floated above LED videowalls; a beacon from BlackTrax with in-camera effects, such as accordion text and graphics; an HDR demo featuring Brompton Dynamic Calibration for LED video displays; and a cued light show, designed by Kelley Shih, utilizing fixtures from WorldStage’s extensive lighting inventory. Also on hand was WorldStage’s Sx3 self-contained show system for breakout rooms, now with upgraded digital audio, faster deployment and more efficient packing.
“We couldn’t have done our NEXT Demos without all the help from our collaborators and technical partners, including Savages, who designed the Notch and BlackTrax demos, and representatives from BlackTrax and disguise who came out in person to support us and help make our NEXT Demos more exciting than ever,” concludes Shelly Sabel, WorldStage Director of Design. “I can’t think of a better way to close out an exciting year.”