The new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) offers passengers a unique travel experience with its Integrated Environmental Media System (IEMS), a series of seven digital media features integrated into the interior architecture that provides entertainment and information to passengers.
Electrosonic was tasked by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) with the detailed engineering and system integration of the IEMS components, and the build out of the IEMS control room that keeps everything humming around the clock.
Electrosonic was also responsible for the integration and installation of the complex digital playback system that supports the multichannel synchronization necessary for display on the media features. Electrosonic was involved with the mammoth project for close to two years, providing the client with specialized management expertise throughout.
“This is one of the largest international terminals in the U.S., and its first priority is as an airport, a hub to the rest of the world,” said Electrosonic account executive Bryan Hinckley. “Our experience coordinating with different trades and vendors, and our expertise in integrating complex systems and new playback technology, helped make the IEMS system a success.”
Electrosonic designed and integrated the Integrated Environmental Media System at the 150,000-squarefoot Antonio Villaraigosa Pavilion, comprising the Welcome Wall, the Bon Voyage Wall, the four-sided Time Tower, the Destination Board and Story Board, and two portals that usher travelers to their departure gates.The IEMS media features are located in the 150,000-square-foot Antonio Villaraigosa Pavilion (Great Hall) beyond TSA screening and consist of the Welcome Wall, the Bon Voyage Wall, the four-sided Time Tower, the Destination Board and Story Board, and two portals that usher travelers to their departure gates. Integrated into the terminal’s architecture, they are more than digital signage or multimedia eye candy. Each media feature serves a specific purpose for the passengers, offers sponsorship opportunities for marketers, and dazzles with its ability to merge the latest technology with soaring architectural elements.
The Welcome Wall, which displays joyful scenes of greeting for arriving international passengers, is a high-resolution 6mm LE D Daktronics wall measuring approximately 26 by 84 feet, divided into two screens and surrounded by a decorative glass frame. The adjacent Bon Voyage Wall, with content inspired by photographer Philippe Halsman’s Jumpology photographs, is a similar configuration with dimensions of 13 by 23 feet.
The Destination Board is a different take on flight departure information. The 80-foot-wide screen displays flight details from LAX’s Flight Information Display System database. The high-resolution 6mm LED screen is partitioned into a central flight info display flanked by informational side panels and framed by a low-resolution crown of LEDs. Content on the side panels is linked in real time to destination flights displayed on the board to provide travelers with fun facts, weather briefs, and images of destination cities, while a graceful arched crest features international flag graphics or subtle arrays of colors.
The four-sided Time Tower is built around the Villaraigosa Pavilion’s elevator tower and is designed to not only tell time, but also explore time as part of the travel experience. It is 72 feet high with a base of diffused glass panels and an interior layer of 10mm LEDs. Sensors sensitive to passenger gestures create constantly changing patterns in the content generated through customized programming and the capabilities of the system. The upper surface features high-resolution 6mm LEDs and integrates a functional clock face with entertaining content incorporating a time theme.
“The display is very large and has a number of video content sources which have to synchronize seamlessly on the four sides of the tower,” Hinckley said. “Electrosonic and Smart Monkeys spent a lot of time with the content creators and Daktronics on pixel-for-pixel consistency from media creation through playback, processing, and display. There’s no video scaling involved.”
Electrosonic also coordinated with the LAX audio system, which uses very complex zoning, and delivers safety and emergency messages to ensure proper audio playback for the Time Tower clock strike at the top of every hour.
Along the west side of the Villaraigosa Pavilion, poised above retail shops, is the 120-foot-long Story Board feature. Its high-resolution 6mm LE D tiles form five display walls of varying size and shape across a structural frame. Once again, Electrosonic worked closely with all the vendors to achieve pixel-for-pixel consistency in a huge palette of pixels comprising custom content that tells ambient narratives about travel.
As passengers move from the Villaraigosa Pavilion toward either the north or south concourse, a series of ten 28-foot-tall columns form a visual portal to their destination. Each column, consisting of six vertically stacked 55-inch Planar LCD monitors, displays content themed around the art traditions of various destination cities. Speakers and motion sensors are embedded in the base units of each portal to enhance the experience.