Sometimes an idea is so good, that everyone has it at the same time. Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba, three major forces behind 3D television sets, each decided to promote their new TV technology with massive ‘3D’ projectors† that can display huge video demonstrations on the sides of buildings. Not only did they all use the same ‘3D’ projector marketing concept, but they all hired the same company to create it. Seriously. NuFormer, a multimedia firm in the Netherlands, helped Samsung promote their 3D TV in Amsterdam the same weekend in May it was putting on a show for Sony in Madrid. In September NuFormer helped Toshiba wow audiences at the IFA Fair in Berlin with another ‘3D’ projection show. I would mock these companies for their lack of originality except for one thing: the presentations totally rocked. Watch all three in the videos below. They may all use the same technology, but each one is its own eye-popping piece of art.
Samgsung hired NuFormer to destroy the historic Beurs van Berlage building in Amsterdam. The projectors cast images on the front of the edifice that made it look like it was crumbling, and slowly being replaced by nature. The demonstration was only up for two hours every night from May 20th to 22nd. As you can see in the video, the crowd was quite pleased with the results. Samsung took their ‘destruction by nature’ concept one step further and brought it online. A special channel on YouTube, Samsung3Devent, destroys itself in the same manner as the Beurs van Berlage, tearing the webpage down and replacing it with a butterfly catching game. The winner reportedly received a free Samsung 3D TV, but unfortunately the contest is now over.
The really crazy thing is that the last night that the Beurs van Berlage was being bombarded by butterflies, football fans in Madrid were watching a ‘3D’ homage to the game they loved courtesy of Sony and NuFormer. “Imagine Football in 3D” was projected on to two different buildings at the Plaza Santa Anna and the Colegio San Augustin. 3D sport telecasts look to be one of the big selling points for 3D television sets, and Sony is smart to try to hook that branch of their target market early on. Watch Sony stimulate Spanish soccer fans in the video below:
IFA Fair is one of the largest consumer electronics shows in the world, and everyone brings their ‘A’ game to Berlin. Drawing a crowd and promoting Toshiba’s 3D home entertainment systems, NuFormer used their projection systems to transform two enormous boxes into a family den where the entertainment is leaping out of the TV. Not quite a building-sized project, but still very cool:
NuFormer isn’t the only company that specializes in these mammoth presentations (though apparently Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba all thought it was). We’ve even seen the pinball motif displayed in the Madrid presentation before. I’ve been really into building sized projection systems since we first covered them last year, and I think that the cool ‘3D’ video art from LCI, Urbanscreen, and individuals like Pablo Valbuena are as high quality as what you’ve seen above. This technology is all the more amazing because so many different groups around the world are working with it. Building sized projectors aren’t quite commonplace yet, but work like this shows that it could be soon. It’s going to be pretty intense when every third house or office complex has a full sized night time advertisement and art show. Actually I can’t wait, sounds awesome.
And as the for the other technology, 3D TVs? Well those are already here in force. You can expect Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba to be hyping these screens like crazy as we enter into the holiday season. Hopefully that will mean more cool building-sized ‘3D’ art projects. Not that such marketing gimmicks would actually convince me to purchase one of these first generation 3D devices. As I’ve said before, I don’t think they’re ready yet. I’m not buying a 3D TV. …I’m just not going to do it. …It would be a total waste of money…right?
†Note: I’m using ‘3D’ here to mean a flat image projected onto a surface in a way that makes it appear to have depth. This sort of perspective based ‘3D’ has been around for a long time. I’ll only refer to things as 3D (no single quotes) when they actually use a stereoscopic or other three dimensional effect that requires you to have two eyes to see.
[screen capture credit: Samsung]