The two companies say Hilton Hotels & Resorts has agreed to install the futuristic flat-panel technology at select hotels worldwide. The system provides a virtual world to market hotel services, from business to pleasure, as well as an interactive advertising platform for local restaurants, shopping centers, museums, and more.
The system relies on two pairs of cameras mounted at different heights above the Samsung display. The cameras scan the area in front of the display and digitize objects that come within 15 feet. The information feeds into a computer that processes tens of thousands of formulas 30 times per second before identifying those that match.
As consumers approach the WAVEscape digitally formatted advertisement on the Samsung monitor, their position and gestures are instantly recognized. Let's say the display projects an image of a soccer field with an Adidas-branded ball in the middle. If the consumer walks up and kicks the image of the ball, it might roll across the green grassy field or fly through the air as if was real.
Reactrix founder and chief scientist Matt Bell says the system relies on a technology known as "practical computer vision," but finding a way to make it reliable in real-world environments wasn't easy. "It works great in a lab, but environmental situations like sun and wind make movement unpredictable," he says. "People are good at adjusting to changing conditions, but it's difficult for computers."
The system measures the distance, size and shape of each part of a person's body, down to a fraction of an inch--separating hands, arms and other parts. Images from the 3-D camera are merged to give the computer one view of the person standing in front of the camera.
Bell says Reactrix built in the "Effects Engine" from the prior version of the system called STEPscape, which projects 6-foot-by-8-foot interactive, two-dimensional images on the floor in public venues, such as malls and movie theaters. "The STEPscape floor display was successful, but people are more familiar with seeing ads on the wall, not the floor," he says.
The Effects Engine receives and processes images from the camera, allowing artists to quickly create a variety of content, including advertisements and games, by plugging together building blocks rather than programming software.
The ads and content displayed on the Samsung monitors are updated remotely. The platform transmits ads via EVDO, which runs over the cellular network. From a network operations center, Reactrix can monitor the systems, upload new content and software improvements, and run logs to make sure ads appeared on schedule.
The Reactrix and Samsung solution is available on Samsung's large-format-display 570DX products.