Building digital platforms
South African Tourism had been building digital platforms for some years, collating a vastly powerful database of experiences and offerings within the country as a way to try and connect the trade to these service providers. The decision had been made to launch these platforms at INDABA 2011 and a device was sought to show off these wares at large within a trade show environment.
Building something that simply does not exist
Working with old friends and collaborators Pixel Project, we set out to build something that simply did not exist. This was not to be only a large touch surface, but one which could be quickly dismantled into flight cases, shipped to trade shows around the globe and easily re-assembled.
The outcome was what CNN’s Richard Quest called a “giant iPad that he could not fit into the overhead locker!” Using four 46” narrow bezel LCD monitors covered by a single large sheet of armoured glass the table employed IR touch technology within the table edge to allow up to eight people to operate it, taking into account false touches from clothing, bags etc. All equipment including UPS power had to be accommodated within the belly of the table and particular attention was given to mechanical robustness, with trade show visitors leaning on, and pushing from all sides continuously.
Digital Fabric managed the logistics, build-up, and technical support of not only this large table, but also multi-iPad setups, large wall mounted touch displays as well as smaller table derivates at annual trade shows including London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris.
Today, many of these functions are taken for granted on interactive tables and displays, but at the time it challenged Digital Fabric to push the boundaries of functionality and offer a bespoke interactive development that was arguably one of the first ever large interactive touch screens to allow mobility.