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MAKING THE MOST OF AV


the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, featuring three types of interactivity, that run in a loop. A pair of augmented reality elements use the cameras – including one integrated with the LED display – to capture the live image of an arriving guest and combine it on-screen with footage of everything from cheerleaders to grazing buffalo. Another collection of content elements uses infrared sensors to detect guests’ movements and allow them to affect the appearance of on-screen graphics, such as waterfalls or cascading dollar bills, by waving their hands and moving their bodies. Finally, two interactive games use the motion-sensing technology of the video wall to engage visitors in a virtual ball toss and dunk tank. These simple, engaging digital experiences set Seneca Buffalo Creek apart from not only its casino competition, but also other forms of entertainment in the area. They instill a sense of fun that helps generate repeat visits. And the AV technology brought to bear on the project is but a collection of building blocks that other casinos can combine in ways that create more unique experiences.


Digital Art that Immerses Guests


For The LINQ Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and its AV solutions integrator McCann Systems, took some of the same underlying audiovisual technology and ratcheted it up a notch or two. To deliver a memorable, exciting guest experience, the casino partnered with renowned digital artist Refik Anadol to create an expansive, dynamic installation called DATALAND:LINQ that is among the first of its kind. McCann Systems had already turned The LINQ’s sports book into an immersive environment. Now it was time to extend that experience to other parts of the casino. Caesars’ Matthew Kenagy, who’d headed up the strategic development, said the goal was to design a casino that allowed guests to interact with the space around them. The sprawling, digital art installation involves unique LED


displays that cover entire hallways and form 3D shapes on ceilings to engage visitors with bright, creative graphics that help raise excitement levels. Many areas also include interactive elements, similar to those at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, in which visitors’ movements and gestures generate unique on-screen visuals. And woven into the overall DATALAND:LINQ digital fabric are six different virtual reality zones throughout The LINQ so people can feel what it may be like to battle robots or spin records in counterspace. The LINQ also uses its collection of bright, dynamic LED


displays to put a new, exciting spin on an archetypal casino moment: winning a jackpot. When a guest hits a jackpot, the wall- and ceiling-mounted LED screen automatically play special video of money raining down. Along with flashing spotlights and other lighting, the audiovisual experience encourages the entire casino floor to celebrate with the lucky winner. “We’ve embedded media into architecture,” Anadol said of The LINQ’s audiovisual experience. Such a unique deployment of AV, he continued, makes it so that “people become part of the artwork.”


Audiovisual Technology as Architecture


Indeed, using AV as architecture has fast become an exciting differentiator and important design consideration. To wit: The new KAOS dayclub and nightclub at Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort. Opened in 2019, KAOS stands apart by virtue of its staggering audiovisual experiences. The venue itself is an AV experience, sporting the city’s largest LED screen, a 270-foot-tall monster composed of 1,035 LED panels that covers the entire facade of the Ivory Tower building. It shows a live feed of the club to every passerby. Another 1,624 panels create video canvasses throughout the outdoor areas. Inside, the very walls are alive with digital entertainment.


A total of 9,300 curved LED panels cover surfaces in every direction, offering DJs and other performing artists infinite visual real estate for their digital content. The indoor nightclub area is round, so a large, curved “halo” LED display encircles the entire ceiling. Even balconies are embossed with their own curved displays, visible above the main dance floor. To “paint” all those digital surfaces, KAOS employs one of the largest armies of media servers ever built for a casino. The system coordinates and sends 17 video streams at super-high 4K resolution to LED displays throughout the club. And unlike with real paint, when all those surfaces need to be refreshed, all that’s needed is new digital content. In a market as competitive as Las Vegas, KAOS’ enveloping


digital architecture gives artists a way to surround their fans with multimedia – and guests an experience they’ll want to relive. It’s these connections between a casino brand and its


customers that modern audiovisual technology helps foster. No matter the size of the casino or the experience, AV offers a scalable differentiator that’s limited only by imagination. Augmented reality, digital art, media architecture – technologists are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible with the tools available to them. Casinos have become a proving ground for glitzier uses of technology, working with integrators and content creators to create experiences that keep guests entertained and coming back.


DECEMBER 2019 41


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