Anglo American is a multinational mining company headquartered in London. It is the world’s largest producer of platinum as well as a major producer of diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore, and metallurgical and thermal coal.
For companies like Anglo American, tradeshows are valuable opportunities to engage with the broader mining community and present vision and values to the public. As such, the company wanted to ensure its booth at an upcoming Gold Coast trade show had a head turning centrepiece to grab the attention of passers by — specifically, a hologram.
Anglo American sounded out the idea with technology and design agency T&DA. Tyrone Estephan, Executive Producer at T&DA came back with a counter proposal. “For the space and what Anglo American needed to create, we didn’t think a hologram would be achievable, so we pitched them back an idea which involved LG’s 55-inch transparent OLED screens we had seen at a recent convention.”
NEARLY A HOLOGRAM
T&DA developed an idea for the ‘Holodesk’. Taking inspiration from sci-fi influences such as Prometheus, Oblivion, and even Tony Stark’s lair in the Iron Man movies, the Holodesk is a futuristic T-shaped table on which three 55-inch LG Transparent OLED displays are mounted vertically. The result is an immersive viewing experience with a convincing hologram-like aesthetic where, thanks to the transparent displays, content appears to almost float in mid-air.
Raymond Leung, Creative Technologist at T&DA explains the setup. “We configured the displays so they overlap from certain angles, letting you see content over other pieces of content so there’s more depth. The 3D-printed design plays a lot on curves and glossy surfaces to maximise reflections and make the displays stand out.”
Inside the table is a workstation which drives the three displays. Audio is driven by a Lab.gruppen E Series amplifier fed into two Tannoy speakers neatly embedded into the side of the desk.
The purpose of the Holodesk was to creatively convey advancements Anglo American had achieved in mining safety policies and procedures. All content used on the displays is bespoke and synchronised across all the screens. T&DA partnered with New Holland Creative which cohesively pieced together fluid visual objects, animated text, videos and other information to play across the displays. The trio of screens work in tandem — if something happens on the central screen the outer screens react to it.
“We’re using a lot of bright neon lines to accentuate the floating lines as if it was a hologram,” explains Raymond. “We also used 3D object rotations to make it look like objects are rotating in empty space.”
THE LG DIFFERENCE
For Tyrone, the choice of LG displays was down to the ‘wow’ factor they exude. “Of all the transparent OLED screens we have seen in the market the LG screens definitely had the best resolution, were the thinnest, and they instantly amazed users.”
Transparency level was a consideration too. “With overlapping displays we really needed content to be visible through two displays, so panel transparency was important. LG’s are the most transparent on the market — around 40%,” says Raymond.
“One of the most exciting things about this project was seeing the client and people at the tradeshow respond to the Holodesk,” says Tyrone. “It really was the standout piece of the show.”