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Electrosonic designs interactive WWII exhibit for LA museum

Electrosonic has designed and installed a permanent exhibit at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles exploring Allied appeasement prior to World War II.

The multimedia presentation uses letters, archival footage, speeches and interactives to consider how the political decisions made by Allied leaders in the years before WWII made Hitler’s rise to power possible.

The Appeasement exhibit is housed in the main exhibition space at the museum and had to be completed in a tight time frame with part of the work taking place while the museum was open to the public. Its main feature is a giant relief map of Europe, which spans a curved wall, and its companion touchscreens.

“A Panasonic PT-DZ870LK ultra-short throw projector makes the map come alive with video images of the war’s progression as it highlights how territories and borders morphed when WWII got underway and armies advanced,” explained Electrosonic project manager Steve Calver.

The projector is mounted on the ceiling about two feet away from the map, which is covered with a slightly reflective projection surface. A 7thSense server warps the images onto the map, which was created by Cortina Productions. A Dakota Audio ceiling speaker is mounted above the map to provide a narrowly directed audio field.

“Videos pop up and go away, arrows move, armies march – the display is constantly dynamic,” Calver said. “With the ultra short-throw projector, you get a large projected image that people can stand much closer to than with traditional projection lenses without interfering with the projection envelope and creating shadows. In this specific application, the projector was a less expensive and more aesthetically appealing choice when compared to a custom surface mounted LED wall.

Adjacent to the map is a single Planar 70in multi-touch monitor, which can be used by up to four visitors. Headphones by the monitor allow visitors to listen to the specific content they are viewing and NLE computers drive the interactive content.

Electrosonic also replaced all 24 of the museum’s card reader CRT monitors with new 21.5in NEC LCD monitors. Upon entering the museum, each visitor receives a photo passport card with the story of a person whose life was changed by the events of the Holocaust.

Electrosonic employed Chief mounts for the 70in Planar monitor and the new NEC LCD monitors. BrightSign players and Extron extenders were also used.

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