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Electrosonic Helps Make Interactive Oceans Exhibit a Prime Attraction at Indianapolis Zoo

zooWhen visitors to the Indianapolis Zoo‘s new Oceans presented by Old National Bank exhibit explore the extraordinary creatures and habitats of the earth‘s seven seas they‘ll be doing so via audio and video equipment furnished by Electrosonic. The exhibit opened on Memorial Day Weekend in the former World of Waters building, which has been transformed into a new interactive environment for the Zoo‘s diverse collection of sea creatures. The Indianapolis Zoo is a world-class facility hosting more than a million visitors annually.

Electrosonic‘s complement of audio and video equipment has some rather unique applications in Oceans. The company provided three Elo interactive, touchscreens for kiosks that comprise the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Polling Stations. Situated at different points in the Oceans exhibit, the Polling Stations invite visitors to express their views by entering information on the touchscreens. At the exhibit‘s exit, a Results Station featuring a 42-inch LG LCD screen from Electrosonic reveals the polling‘s conclusions.

Electrosonic also configured Oceans‘ background sound system, plugging the Zoo‘s Klipsch speakers into new Crown CDI-1000 amps. Sound sources, a combination of ambient animal sounds, voices and ethereal music, are played back from Alcorn McBride‘s 8-Traxx.

The most challenging aspect of the Oceans exhibit for Electrosonic was devising how to project images of sea creatures from Panasonic‘s PT5600 video projector into the new Kaleidoscope Reflecting Pool. “It‘s unusual to use water as a projection surface,” notes Tom Rowat, Electrosonic‘s Southeast Operations Manager and Project Manager for Oceans. “We worked with systems designer Lyons Zaremba Inc. and content provider Chedd Angier Lewis, which provided us with a test file, on a proof of concept because we were trying to fit a rectangular image in a round pool. Chedd produced test masks to feather the image at the corners so it would appear round, then we worked with the Zoo on the optimum mask so we wouldn‘t overshoot the corners of the pool.”

Electrosonic also provided an interactive Education Area, where instructors can teach groups, with a wireless Shure ULX series mic and an interface panel for a 42-inch LG LCD screen. A video microscope is expected to be installed for display on the monitor.

Two other Shure ULX series mics playback through the sound system from the Penguins exhibit sponsored by Penguin Ice and the dogshark touch pool located in the Firestone Gallery.

At Electrosonic, Niel Overton was the project engineer and Andrew Johnson the site installer. Orlando-based Nassal Co. was the scenic provider with William Nassal, Jr. project manager and Joe Riley site supervisor. Shiel Sexton Construction, Indianapolis was the general contractor. Boston-based Lyons Zaremba Inc. was the system designer, and Chedd Angier Lewis in Watertown, Massachusetts was the content provider for the Kaleidoscope Pool and the Polling Stations.

Electrosonic has a 40-year history of providing advanced media solutions for applications in Public Spaces and Work Environments at hundreds of sites worldwide.

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