The Energy Ring, commissioned in July 2004, is a dominant feature in the great East
Hall of London’s Science Museum. The Ring links to a gallery on the second floor
of the Museum, entitled Energy – fuelling the future. This is an interactive gallery
where children age 7-14, their teachers and families, can explore how energy powers
every aspect of their lives. The gallery is packed with computer-based exhibits and
feels like an 'energy playground'. Visitors can play with novel interfaces from spinning
drums and touch-screens to dance-floor footpads.
Technographic Displays was first asked to comment on the feasibility of the Ring
in January 2004. A project team had already been partially assembled, but no company
had been found that could readily construct the ring to the required specification.
One of the main requirements was for the complete matrix of white light emitting
diodes to be addressed as a bit-mapped display. Moreover, in order to create smooth,
fast-moving effects, a frame-rate of 200Hz was desired. Where others had struggled
with this concept, Technographic Displays already had a graphics control solution
which could be readily adapted to meet the need.
The project was given a formal go-ahead in April 2004. Technographic Displays proceeded
to design and manufacture a complete set of custom display electronics and, by the
end of June the complete display had been installed and commissioned.