Scandinavian flat-pack super chain IKEA’s flagship store in Wembley, North London, is immersing potential buyers into an interactive, projection mapped environment this summer, thanks to an inspired project by Motion Mapping using Hippotizer Karst+ Media Servers.
The popular furniture and houseware brand’s team approached Ipswich-based Motion Mapping, which specialises in video mapping, to realise the project. The initial brief focused on a furniture section of the IKEA store, constructed from an L-shaped wall with large desk, hung cabinets and a series of 12 differing-sized empty photo frames, each one projection mapped to synchronise with the back wall projections across all of the cabinets, hung in a portrait and landscape formation to create a wide display canvas. The team wanted to turn this into the immersive environment, using projections and interactive elements.
“The IKEA team found us through our website, and we immediately responded to their needs as this project is right up our street,” says Stuart Harris, Creative Director at Motion Mapping. “After hearing what they wanted to achieve, we knew that by using the features of Hippotizer and our experience with the platform, we could actually elevate the project to another level.”
Harris and his team collaborated with the IKEA creatives to develop the project into a richer experience, harnessing the power of Hippotizer. Now installed, a raft of colourful content slides seamlessly across the cabinets, walls and TVs. The closed cabinet doors are video mapped to show virtual stocked interiors, with projected images of IKEA tableware and storage solutions. When turned on, the TVs display scenes to give the impression of looking out a real window to immerse visitors even further.
Key to the concept is the IKEA ‘co-worker’ character, who skips around the walls, cabinets and desk, inviting the visitor to interact with the environment and explaining the specifications of what’s for sale. The IKEA team handed Harris a 2D sketch of the co-worker, which Motion Mapping then morphed into an (almost) 3D character to be animated, video mapped and projected onto the walls using six Optoma projectors, which are hung from the ceiling.
“Hippotizer Karst+ enables us to perfectly sync the content across the wall canvas really simply, and update content as the project developed, too,” Harris continues. “We started off with just one projector, but as we showed the client what we could achieve using Hippotizer – such as blending multiple projectors to create a bigger, more immersive display within Hippotizer’s SHAPE tools – it mushroomed. This also helped us seamlessly make the 3D co-worker character come to life. It’s great that we can do so much within the media server itself – it really is a multi-tool machine rather than simply a playback device.”
The video mapped installation is proving to be a storming success for the store, with Harris reporting that customers are spending more time learning what the furniture offers and interacting with the co-worker character.