BMW i: A Window Into the Near Future

Role: Networking and A/V systems designer and admin.  Lead installation team hired by KBS+ to interface with sole programmer and agency producer to implement a bullet-proof system for a 24/7 interactive installation across three weeks in a high visibility store front across from Bryant Park in New York City.  All production during the week of hurricane Sandy.


An interactive ad campaign that let you imagine yourself in an electric BMWi model.  By using a ‘magic mirror’ effect, we used 3M’s Vikuti rear screen projection film to give the impression that you were passing a reflective window.  The program ‘burned in’ the background image, while replacing all of the passing car traffic with digitally prepared assets (images of BMWs and of taxis).  The object tracking would recognize cars and replace them with images of the BMWi series models (3 types, that the algorithm would use the original car’s size to determine).  It would recognize taxis and replace them with prepared images of taxis, so as to keep the same aesthetic (just a world of BMWs and taxis).

Tech Details

Lead lumen per square inch studies to specify the kind of projectors needed to rear project through 3M Vikuti film.  Attained first Barko 40k projectors in the United States and networked and operated remotely, despite no manuals available.  Built signal flow and protocol for all networked devices, including multiple IP cameras, IP power strips, three custom gaming computers.  Remotely controlled projector shuttering to alternate a single projector during night-time as well as aligned both projectors to overshoot during direct sunlight hours.  Developed 24 hour support escalation plan which included mechanical turk as an off hours solution to make sure projection was always displaying correctly.

Handmade all ethernet cable.

Deployed multiple point grey system (high-speed, networked camera), modify lenses, build custom mounts and security measures.


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