cirque du soleil, december 2oo6
Cirque du Soleil recently opened a bar called the Revolution Lounge, in the Mirage, to accompany their new 'Love' Beatles themed show. The 'ultralounge' concept includes many new technologies, to enhance customer experience.
One of these involves several interactive tables located throughout the bar/lounge. Each tabletop is a frosted glass display that uses infrared sensing to sense fingers and glasses. When customers drag their fingers on the table, the table allows them to literally fingerpaint with light, as their paths are projected onto the table from underneath. When the customer puts their glass on the table, the drawing they've made gets sucked into the bottom of their glass, and becomes a contained heart that then can float around the table on its own [see pictures for details].
When one of the two hosts comes to the table [hosts Jason and Angela shown], they wear a special ring containing hidden infrared emitting circuitry. Any time they put their hands on the table, the table can differentiate them from a normal customer through this infrared signal. They can then review all the drawings that have been made, and by grabbing one on the table, they can pull it off and throw it onto a large display in the center of the bar, for everyone to see.
Small Design Firm was hired to create the interactive tables, who then hired me to design and create the infrared emitting ring. Each ring [available in black and clear anodized aluminum, as well as brass] contains a hidden flexible circuit, with battery for longer life, and switches enabling the infrared emitter.