NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Leisure

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY

CREATING A DIGITAL INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION

Part of a £9m redevelopment programme at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the Revolution gallery was destined to become an interactive space to engage with the public, setting the scene as they begin their journey through the exhibition. Visitors are welcomed by an incredible 50 screen video wall and a spectacular digital sculpture - a unique and visually arresting centrepiece which enables the visitor to become part of the exhibition itself.

The Challenge

‘WE HAD TO RECOGNISE HOW THE PUBLIC INTERACTS WITH MEDIA IN A MUSEUM ENVIRONMENT’

Occupying the former Liverpool Road station, a Grade 1 listed warehouse, The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) strives to bring innovation to life like no other. Wishing to engage with its visitors and provide them with an authentic and inspiring experience, MOSI is repositioning the traditional concept of the museum for the modern age. ‘We wanted to produce a space that would act as an orientation gallery for the rest of the museum and would provide a juxtaposition between heritage technology and modern technology,’ explains Terry Hudghton, head of marketing and business development at MOSI. ‘We had to recognise how the public interacts with media in a museum environment,’ explains Hudghton. ‘Younger people are completely immersed in multi-media environments. They’re incredibly comfortable with consuming, generating and sharing content.’

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The NEC Solution

‘THE ENERGY SAVING FEATURES WERE ALSO KEY’

MOSI approached Kin, a London based studio specialising in interaction, to design ‘Revolution’, the entrance exhibition. Working closely with integrator Pure AV and specialist design studio 24 Design, video wall experts PSCo helped to bring Kin’s concept to reality. A highly complex installation, it was imperative that all the partners involved were in complete cooperation. PSCo, an established NEC Solutions Partner, recognised that the NEC X462UN would be the ideal product to meet the MOSI project requirements. ‘Kin had a very clear design plan and we offered them various display options to meet their requirements,’ says Liam Norris, account manager at PSCo. ‘After exploring the choices the teams settled on the NEC X462UN 46” ultra narrow bezel LCD displays’ Norris continued. ‘The NEC units were chosen because, in the video wall, they created a seamless look due to the narrow bezel and ‘Dark Edge Compensation’ technology.’ ‘The energy saving features were also key to our decision to use NEC,’ adds Kevin Palmer, director of Kin. ‘The ambient light sensor and eco functions of the product bring energy costs down and helps to produce consistent colour.’

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PSCo also designed and supplied a bespoke modular bracket that allowed the video wall to make full use of the 7.3mm narrow bezel. ‘The media wall was very important to us as a tool which would allow the museum to generate revenue from the space,’ says Palmer. ‘It’s a fantastic backdrop and canvas and has been designed so that anyone who hires the area can easily use it to play their own content for launches, presentations and events.’

The NEC X462UN video wall is made up of two 4 x 4 clusters, connected by a smaller 3 x 3 which serves as an archway for visitors to pass into the museum. These then taper into a sweeping artistic canvas which houses 9 irregularly placed NEC X462UN to enhance the graphic panels. This curve ends in a spectacular chandelier made of 17 x NEC V321 and 7 x V421 flat panel displays. Elsewhere in the museum, several NEC AS231W and EA261WM LCD displays are utilised for standard information screens and 4 x LCD2490UXi2 have been touch enabled in an interactive table and also in separate touch displays. In the reception area a 3 x 3 X462UN video wall provides visitors with information on the five separate buildings which comprise the Museum of Science and Industry as well as details of special events.

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The Result

Norris commented ‘We have the in-house expertise to support our trade partners with installation and commissioning of video walls of this size and scale, which are technically challenging and demand a high level of product knowledge. We have a very strong relationship with NEC so we are able to work closely with them and our trade partners to ensure all aspects of the build process go to plan.’

Not only does the media captured as visitors enter the museum enable them to become part of the exhibit itself, it also generates a personal digital scrapbook code enabling the visitor to enjoy the MOSI experience long after the day of his visit. The visitor can download photographs; scores from the interactive games and retrieve video content displayed in the gallery.

Director of MOSI, Tony Hill explains ‘This video wall really injects a unique ‘wow’ into MOSI and promises to engage the visitor as soon as they step into the gallery by making them part of the exhibition itself. We have worked with celebrated creative designers to produce a truly innovative space for the 21st century. This showpiece acts as a fabulous introduction to help the visitor understand how Manchester changed the world.’

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