Prior to 2012 I had never considered one of the types of projects a programmer could contribute to is the creation of interactive exhibition stand software. As is turns out if you do not have a digital element to your stand in many exhibitions these days you won't be standing out in a space where everyone is competing for delegates' attention.

Early this year I ended up being asked to program two such real life interaction experiences. Both were rich media experiences comprising of video, audio, animation and user interaction. This is exactly the type of project that Adobe Air was created for although while progamming the second I pushed up against some of its limitations and a combination of Javascript and HTML 5 stepped in to save the day.

Interactive Exhibition Stand


Due to legal reasons I am only going to talk about the technical build aspects of one of these projects as these details could apply to any similar interactive installation or exhibition stand, regardless of client or market place. If reading about code is not your thing then look away now!

The project I am going to discuss is a multi-screen affair. Well multi-screen and multi-projector actually. The experience was completely immersive, surrounding users on all sides. Exhibition attendees walked on to the stand and into an enclosed, round space which could be described as a mini cinema. Immediately in front of them was an upright touch screen displaying a grid of large icons, very similar to iPhone app icons only much larger. There were two of these screens back to back as people could approach and walk into the environment from one of two directions.

Once any of these icons were touched a related video was projected onto the inside circular walls completely enveloping the users in the experience.