drei – “There is another way” at Vienna Airport

Gigapixel images and interaction at Vienna Airport

„Es geht auch anders” (“There is another way”) is the theme of a unique interactive installation now on display at Austrian Star Alliance Terminal Check-in 3 at Vienna International Airport. The project was realized by Ars Electronica Solutions for Hutchison Drei Austria. The pictures that take the passengers into a magical world were created by the Swedish artist Kari Modén; the software that converted them into breathtaking tracking shots through these colorful worlds was developed by Ars Electronica.

In the Security Area of the airport’s new terminal, 165 screens have been clustered into a jumbo 15-meter-wide, 9-meter-high, 530-megapixel display. It takes 60 servers, 720 gigahertz of processing speed and software specially developed by Ars Electronica in order to showcase images on this one-of-a-kind photowall. The software breaks up the high-definition pictures into minute fragments and distributes them to the servers. This is what makes it possible to display the gargantuan graphics with no loss of clarity. And it’s precisely this prototypical interplay of hardware and software components that delivers breathtaking visual impressions to passengers passing through Vienna International Airport

Different worlds, such as an underwater world, an urban world, or a starry sky react to the passengers passing through Check-in 3. Each passenger sends a virtual fish, bird or butterfly on a journey or makes clouds disappear from a virtual mountain world. These interactions cause the display of the “Drei” logo and the company’s claim “Es geht auch anders” (“There is another way”) which is displayed on the screens in a variety of ways.