Downtown Los Angeles Experiences Augmented Reality

By Olivia Young

Originally published in Augmented Reality Trends

Thanks to The Hive and Gensler, downtown Los Angeles enjoys an innovative augmented reality experience. With the new smart space, they brought physical content to life using natural user interfaces and AR technology.

Gensler, the global design firm along with the digital interactive and signage agency, The Hive debut a pioneering augmented reality experience. This AR technology is called The Hive/ Gensler Multi Surface Experience. It helps to inform and engage Gensler’s visitors to its award-winning office in downtown Los Angeles.

This smart space installation is located at the lobby of Gensler. It showcases the portfolio of work of this architectural firm. With a digitally augmented table and a book, the firm attracts the users. This SLO_Gen Table is an iconic collaboration between the company and the architecture students of California Polytechnic School, located in San Luis Obispo. Using a user-friendly interface, the table allows visitors to digitally explore the Gensler’s content of modern cities monograph and urban architecture with the help of movements like hand motions.

This augmented reality technology enhances the objects using a new layer of the digital content, adding new context to the book’s contents. It also allows visitors to access digital media from the vast portfolio of Gensler on the connected 4k video wall. With this exceptional tableau, the company showcases its works across various sectors that range from expansive international airport projects to leading luxury stores.

Gensler and The Hive created this experimental augmented reality project demonstrating the potentials of integration between your physical space and the digital experience. Alan Robles, Gensler’s experience designer said, “As architects and designers we try to understand how technology and experience affect the spaces we design. The Hive/Gensler Multi Surface Experience is a groundbreaking smart space that allows people to interact with their environment in a way that’s never been done before.”

Yahav Ran, the Multi Display Expert and Co-Founder of The Hive opine, “Spaces are evolving, just like users’ expectations of space are evolving. This installation is a channel that a user can experience. Just like a broadcast channel, or any other channel, it needs fresh, relevant content to appeal to users. Our challenge was to create a sustainable mini-channel that will keep visitors engaged, and excited.”

The Hive built this augmented reality tool using the latest products of their technology partners YCD Multimedia, Canon and Planar. The interface and its augmented reality components are displayed by a Canon REALiS WUX5000 projector and the content from the designer firm’s portfolio is displayed on the four-panel Planar Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System, using software from YCD.

Each of these technology partners is excited and proud to be a part of this innovative augmented reality experience. Sam Losar, the President of YCD USA, said “The success of this project reflects how close collaboration with the right partners provides a winning solution for our customers.”

In addition, this augmented reality tool includes various other technical components such as Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows cameras, OpenCV and Kinect for Windows Commercial SDK. These components help to interpret the reality of the lobby at Gensler so that the real-time experience is reactive to its surroundings.

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