AT&T and global architecture firm Gensler have enlisted Montreal-based multimedia studio Moment Factory to help develop an immersive and engaging multimedia experience in the heart of downtown Dallas. The mandate included overseeing strategic project development and experiential design, including content and digital platform integration.
The AT&T Discovery District, a one-of-a-kind public destination located within AT&T’s global corporate headquarters campus, was designed to create a vibrant entertainment destination, reflecting the mood and energy of the community. A 104-foot 6K Media Wall (pictured) towers as the focal point of the District, providing an immersive experience for visitors, employees and residents. With over 18 million pixels, the Media Wall displays artful content, offering a subtle nod to AT&T’s history and values while creating moments of collective enjoyment, relaxation and exploration.
The District also includes two large two-story trellis with over 58 hundred linear feet of LED and a 30 ft tall signature Globe sculpture whose mirrored outer surface reflects its surrounding buildings. Walking inside the Globe, visitors can enjoy an interactive light and sound experience that senses and responds to location and movement. A content management system enables coordinated content across the Globe, LED trellis and Media Wall.
Content powered by real-time data blurs the line between the physical and digital world. For example, wind and solar data power a virtual future neighbourhood, inspiring visitors to consider how natural energy can be used to transform cities. In another piece, real-time data tracks the movement of planets, moons, and stars, inform a nightly virtual journey through our solar system.
A key part of Moment Factory’s role was creating a system that could handle a wide variety of content and sources, including real-time generated graphics. To meet that requirement, Moment Factory selected Network Device Interface (NDI), a royalty-free standard for capturing, transmitting, and receiving high-quality, low-latency, frame-accurate video, and audio over IP. NDI is source agnostic, freeing the AT&T Discovery District’s content creators to use their engine of choice.
“It’s allowed us to design a system that can combine generative content capsules from any real-time engine, while providing a visually seamless experience for the spectator,” said Matthieu Gourd, technical director, Moment Factory. “NDI will be one of the key components to shorten the distance between our artists and the physical creative canvas.”
Moment Factory is based in Montreal, which is over 1,700 miles from Dallas. That distance highlights another key benefit of NDI: It enables people to collaborate effectively over an IP network even when they can’t travel to a project site for reasons such as scheduling or budget – or a pandemic. For example, NDI enables designers to remotely review content on the District Media Wall in Dallas, Texas, with switching handled by software at Moment Factory in Montreal, Quebec.
“NDI was particularly helpful for our teams during the pandemic as it allowed us to deliver the AT&T project out of Montreal while having only one person on site in Dallas,” confirmed Céline Mornet, Moment Factory innovation producer.