• ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower

    A whole new perspective on the London skyline

Kiosks high atop the Orbit tower, the UK’s tallest sculpture

The Royal Treatment

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 2,000 ton steel sculpture that climbs 1,837 feet above Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. The scene from the viewing deck is stunning, but there was little in the way of interpretive materials for visitors. To address this need, ArcelorMittal Orbit worked with Ideum to create a set of interactive exhibits.

The gigapixel viewers installed at the top of the sculpture allow visitors to zoom-in with extreme photographic detail to the London skyline and discern features not seen easily with the naked eye. The gigapixel image may be magnified with familiar pinch-to-zoom gestures. Visitors can switch the scene from day to night views.

Visitors can touch points of interest that appear in the gigapixel image revealing interpretive content. Pop-up windows containing multiple images and descriptions are provide for each point of interest. Swiping left or right on an image reveals the next photo and description in the series. Ideum helped to develop the descriptive content along with the software. The software was developed using the Open Exhibits framework powered by GestureWorks.

The main menu at the bottom of the gigapixel display also allows users to browse locations by category and jump to a specific location. The ArcelorMittal Orbit structure is also an information hotspot on the display accessible through the “Our Story” logo where visitors can learn more about the Orbit’s history, artistic contributions, construction, and images. The exhibit is presented in eight languages to better meet the needs of international visitors to the Orbit.

Sir Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond designed the sculpture for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The sculpture has become an iconic structure in the London skyline that “symbolizes the energy and creativity of London.”

Members from the Visualize team worked with the ArcelorMittal Orbit staff to shoot the panoramic gigapixel photography. Capturing the imagery proved to be a challenging feat for the gigapixel photographer due to the space constrained roof. A special harness to secure the photographer to the structure had to be used in order to capture a 360 degree view of the city.

Ideum developed custom cases to protect the 27” touch displays and to match the aesthetic of the viewing deck. The white powdercoated cases of the displays match the interior of the Orbit and red colors emit from the digital interface to match the tubular structures. The 27” sized touch displays were selected to be large enough for viewing comfort, yet small enough to blend in with the large viewing windows.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit re-opened on April 5, 2014. It had been closed since the end of the 2012 Olympics. The gigapixel viewers are in place for visitors to enjoy a unique perspective of the city.

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