How UWB indoor positioning creates new artistic experiences

UWB

How UWB indoor positioning creates new artistic experiences

The entertainment industry is ever-changing and evolving. It is perhaps one of the fastest-changing industries out there. Just think about it for a moment. The industry is constantly searching for the next big thing. For a new way to “wow” their audience and be the talk of the day.


So, what would happen if you combine the ever-changing entertainment industry with cutting-edge technology? You get something new.


Look how the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) indoor positioning can impact the industry with new artistic experiences.


What is Ultra-Wideband positioning?

Ultra-Wideband positioning is still rather new on the market, but already offers plenty of opportunities. Look at Pozyx for instance, the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) based positioning system. This system allows you to position pretty much anything with an accuracy of up to 10 cm. All you need Is 4 static anchors and one tag on the item you wish to position in space. UWB is a far more accurate solution than Bluetooth / beacon-based technologies and far easier and cost-efficient to implement than optical and camera-based solutions. So, how can this be used for new artistic experiences?


Interactive performances

The COSMOS performance, directed by Chris Ziegler, is a great example of an interactive performance that uses indoor positioning. The performance goes well beyond words and music alone and focuses heavily on the movements of the performer. By using indoor positioning, they directly interact with their props and create an immersive and mesmerizing performance.


For this case, they used the Pozyx system and tags, equipped with both a Decawave chip and an IMU. The IMU is what allows the tracking of the pitch, yaw, and roll (the head movements of the wearer) of the tag.


Thanks to an update rate of 100 hertz over UWB, both IMU and position data are constantly being updated. Another great advantage for stage performances is that UWB doesn’t suffer from interferences from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other commercially used radio technologies.


Dancing

Dancing has had many transformations over the years. Not just in styles that are continuously changing, but also in terms of performance. Everything is becoming bigger and more spectacular. With indoor positioning, there are several options to make performances more unique and striking. The performance showcased in the video uses UWB to track the position of the dancers and create stunning visuals.


While it used a 30 Hz update rate then, it has since been improved to support an update rate of 140 Hz. This allows for much smoother performance. Pozyx proposes also industrial solutions that use TDAO (Time difference of arrival) protocol. This solution enables for update rates up to 1000 Hz, becoming a real asset for the entertainment sector and enabling crazier performances.


Immersive virtual reality

While most Theme and Water parks impress people with the fastest or longest roller coaster or water slide, some take a different approach. As the video illustrates, UWB positioning hardware can be used to provide an immersive virtual reality.


Ultra-wideband does positioning by calculating the time of flight “how long did signal travel from point A to point B”, between two devices. When you have four of these you can triangulate a position, commonly referred to as “UWB positioning”. The smart people of Polymorph, however, just placed a single anchor every 20 m under the slide. To complete the setup, they attached a Pozyx tag on the headset.


Thanks to the communication between the anchors and the headset as it moves through the slide, the position is calculated in real-time. Making it possible to locate someone in the slide within 10 cm accuracy. The headset provides, therefore, a crazy immersive experience by synchronizing the movements of the visitors with real-time VR environments.


Cost-wise, the entire slide is equipped with just 8 anchors, making it a very low-cost solution for a problem that would otherwise have been highly complex to solve.


Light and audio shows

Light and audio shows are gaining more and more popularity and are a great way to attract attention. Thanks to UWB-based positioning software, these shows can be enriched and much more futuristic.


SoundSculpture, directed by Ryan Edwards, is an immersive and interactive installation of several cubes. Participants create not only physical structures with the cubes but also musical compositions created by the positions of the cubes. The color-changing illuminated cubes are all equipped with Pozyx technology and are therefore position-aware. This allows for the cube to register its location in the software, creating a public-controlled music sequencer.


These are just a few examples of how indoor positioning can be used to create new artistic experiences. The possibilities for the entertainment industry are endless.

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