Twelve BrightSign solid-state digital signage players have been adapted by European integrator Pixels at one of the UK’s scariest theme park attractions. The players are used to control the special effects and play back HD video at HoBs PiT, which launched earlier this month at Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft. It is one of only two UK rides to be given a 12A advisory rating by the British Board of Film Classification.
Created by award-winning illusionist Sean Alexander with the help of Hollywood special effects artist Rob Ostir, the £500,000 dark ride takes place in an abandoned mine. Alexander specified the effects, which are triggered by guests as they proceed through the attraction, which incorporates a ride element and a walk-through section. A host of visual and voice effects are complemented by HD video scenes on LCD screens, plus holograms and physical effects – such as rattling doors, opening and closing a hatch and raising and lowering a corpse.
“Following detailed online research, I contacted Norman Garland at Pixels,” said Sean Alexander, a consultant to Pleasurewood Hills, whose Grand Illusion show features at the park. “Norman confirmed that compact BrightSign players could not only offer every effect that we sought, but could do much more. Making an attraction like this really work for the audience relies on split-second co-ordination. Each effect has to happen at exactly the right moment, and when it starts, the video playback, holographic projection and physical effects need to be totally in synch – otherwise the impact is lost. Norman and his team at Pixels did an outstanding job programming the players to achieve precisely what we needed, avoiding the need for expensive control systems.”
Norman Garland, managing director or Pixels, added, “HoBs PiT is a project that really played to our strengths, which is to add value to a digital signage player installation. Using BrightScript, we programmed the BrightSign players to replay HD video in response to triggers from sensors in the ride, and to control pneumatic valves and rams, lighting and motors for the special effects. Control was achieved through the GPIO port on the players.”
The new ride is part of a £3.5 million investment pledged two years ago by Pleasurewood owners Looping Group.