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Technology
Beyond the rides

High profile shows like ABBA Voyage and Elvis Evolution show the potential for holographic technology to connect with audiences. Kiryl Chykeyuk finds out what it means for the attractions industry


The huge success of the ABBA Voyage concert experience – which has been running in a custom-designed 3,000-seat arena in London since May 2022 – demonstrates how avatar or ‘hologram performances’ can elicit a sense of live connection and emotional response in audiences. This November another high profile technology-led concert experience will launch in London, with the producers hoping to emulate the success of ABBA Voyage. Elvis Evolution, put together by British company Layered Reality, will use AI and holographic projection, as well as live theatre and multi-sensory effects, to tell the story of the singer’s life and legacy.

While the price tag associated with putting on events like these makes them far out of reach for most attractions companies – ABBA Voyage is one of the most expensive concert productions in music history – holographic solutions have huge potential for the industry.

“The success of ABBA Voyage is a clear sign that the key to commercial triumph in live events is in creating experiences that profoundly connect and establish enduring relationships with the audience via a thought-through customer journey,” says Kiryl Chykeyuk, CEO and founder of Hypervsn, creators of high resolution 3D holographic solutions.

Chykeyuk cites Hypervsn’s recent holographic technology project with MSG Sphere in Las Vegas as another example of the potential of this type of technology for the industry.

“Last year we brought a holographic showstopper to the atrium area of the new state-of-the-art music and entertainment venue, MSG Sphere,” he says.

“The groundbreaking integration was made up of a 30- x 50-foot holographic display wall, alongside real-life humanoid robots that greet attendees on arrival, a 360-degree avatar capture and a beam-forming sound display.”

Kiryl Chykeyuk, CEO and founder HYPERVSN
Chykeyuk explains how holographic content can help engage audiences, communicate information and create memorable experiences
PHOTO: HYPERVSN

With the evolution of smartphones, tablets, 3D imagery and the sharpest visual quality on screens at home, consumers have become accustomed to heightened digital experiences. Now, they are applying these expectations to all aspects of daily life such as public leisure spaces, including amusement and theme parks.

The pressure is on for the attractions industry to engage with attendees in new and innovative ways. The aim is to leave a lasting impression on visitors and create positive word-of-mouth, but how can operators take steps to heighten innovation in their parks?

Engagement disconnect

Digital displays, often used to communicate information such as when certain rides open, estimated queue times and maps for wayfinding, are failing to engage attendees in 2024. New standards of viewer immersion are being set with visual innovations, such as holographic solutions and 3D imagery.

With holograms, every corner of an attractions venue becomes an immersive journey where the magic leaps right out at attendees. Attractions can swap out the old-school info boards and replace them with interactive mascots that answer any question in a given language, host immersive live events or even facilitate games that let participants spin reels for prizes.

With the stakes raised by pricier tickets, holographic technology is exactly what operators need to ramp up the wow factor and give families experiences they’ll be raving about for years.

Creating memorable experiences

Holographic technology can be integrated in several ways to enhance the experience. Rather than deliver information about rides and other services via displays, operators could incorporate AI-powered holographic chatbots to answer questions. Visitors can quickly have a query answered in the language of their choice.

The pressure is on for the attractions industry to connect with visitors in new ways

A chatbot, or personal assistant, could take any form, such as the mascot for the company or a fictional character that resonates with children. We’ve already seen digital characters integrated into the theme park environment that can answer questions in real-time, such as a Finding Nemo character at Disney World. Holographic characters can become an attraction in their own right, and could even host a live event, such as a quiz, to elevate engagement.

Elsewhere, there are other opportunities to engage visitors, such as interactive games. Attendees can pull a physical lever to initiate the spinning of holographic reels for a chance to win prizes. This is a prime example of a ‘phygital’ experience, where physical and digital elements are combined. This kind of experience could be implemented at the entrance of a park to engage visitors from the first interaction.

Enriching the journey for visitors

As attractions such as amusement and theme parks face the challenge of justifying increased admission prices with enriched visitor experiences, the integration of innovative technologies, such as holographic displays, phygital experiences and interactive games present a promising solution. Traditional park visits can be transformed into immersive interactive journeys that captivate guests from the moment they step inside, rather than just when they go on rides. Families, who now spend more of their hard-earned money for the best experiences, leave with lasting impressions, a desire to return and only positive feedback to report to others.

Holographic displays, phygital experiences and interactive games could captivate guests
Hypervsn has showcased its SmartV Digital Avatar Solution at tech shows / PHOTO: HYPERVSN
Hologram Zoo

Hologram Zoo opened in Brisbane Australia in 2023, featuring life-like 3D holograms of animals, created using lasers.

Visitors travel through 20m-long holographic tunnels featuring a number of different locations, where they can get up close to laser-projected 3D animals including hippos, giraffes, pandas and giant whales.

Visitors wear special position-tracked glasses with a graphics engine that generates a unique image for every eye looking at the screen.

The zoo features different locations, including the African Savannah, the North Pole, Asia, and Australia, and guests can also travel back in time and visit the dinosaurs. 4D elements designed to enhance the experience include scents, wind and different temperatures.

The technology was developed by Bruce Dell, CEO of hologram technology provider Axiom Holographics.

“Hologram entertainment centres are a fantastic way to be teleported to places that you couldn’t normally visit, and you can experience things you would normally never see,” says Dell. “I don’t think people really know just how big a whale is, but when they see a giant life-sized whale swim past them at Hologram Zoo, they all seem to pause in reverent silence because it’s something that they would normally never get the opportunity to see in real life.”

Visitors can get up close to the holographic animals at the Hologram Zoo / IMAGE COURTESY OF AXIOM HOLOGRAPHICS AND HOLOGRAM ZOO
IMAGE COURTESY OF AXIOM HOLOGRAPHICS AND HOLOGRAM ZOO
Digital avatar performances can deliver a collective experience of live connection Credit: Photo: Johan Persson
ABBA Voyage takes place at a custom-built concert venue in London, UK Credit: PHOTO: RALPH LARMANN
Hypervsn created a giant holographic display wall for the atrium of the MSG Sphere concert venue in Las Vegas Credit: PHOTO: HYPERVSN
Hypervsn created a giant holographic display wall for the atrium of the MSG Sphere concert venue in Las Vegas Credit: PHOTO: HYPERVSN
Hypervsn created a giant holographic display wall for the atrium of the MSG Sphere concert venue in Las Vegas Credit: PHOTO: HYPERVSN
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Attractions Management
2024 issue 2

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Beyond the rides

Technology

Beyond the rides


High profile shows like ABBA Voyage and Elvis Evolution show the potential for holographic technology to connect with audiences. Kiryl Chykeyuk finds out what it means for the attractions industry

The ABBA Voyage production cost an estimated £140m to create Photo: Johan Persson
Digital avatar performances can deliver a collective experience of live connection Photo: Johan Persson
ABBA Voyage takes place at a custom-built concert venue in London, UK PHOTO: RALPH LARMANN
Hypervsn created a giant holographic display wall for the atrium of the MSG Sphere concert venue in Las Vegas PHOTO: HYPERVSN
Hypervsn created a giant holographic display wall for the atrium of the MSG Sphere concert venue in Las Vegas PHOTO: HYPERVSN
Hypervsn created a giant holographic display wall for the atrium of the MSG Sphere concert venue in Las Vegas PHOTO: HYPERVSN

The huge success of the ABBA Voyage concert experience – which has been running in a custom-designed 3,000-seat arena in London since May 2022 – demonstrates how avatar or ‘hologram performances’ can elicit a sense of live connection and emotional response in audiences. This November another high profile technology-led concert experience will launch in London, with the producers hoping to emulate the success of ABBA Voyage. Elvis Evolution, put together by British company Layered Reality, will use AI and holographic projection, as well as live theatre and multi-sensory effects, to tell the story of the singer’s life and legacy.

While the price tag associated with putting on events like these makes them far out of reach for most attractions companies – ABBA Voyage is one of the most expensive concert productions in music history – holographic solutions have huge potential for the industry.

“The success of ABBA Voyage is a clear sign that the key to commercial triumph in live events is in creating experiences that profoundly connect and establish enduring relationships with the audience via a thought-through customer journey,” says Kiryl Chykeyuk, CEO and founder of Hypervsn, creators of high resolution 3D holographic solutions.

Chykeyuk cites Hypervsn’s recent holographic technology project with MSG Sphere in Las Vegas as another example of the potential of this type of technology for the industry.

“Last year we brought a holographic showstopper to the atrium area of the new state-of-the-art music and entertainment venue, MSG Sphere,” he says.

“The groundbreaking integration was made up of a 30- x 50-foot holographic display wall, alongside real-life humanoid robots that greet attendees on arrival, a 360-degree avatar capture and a beam-forming sound display.”

Kiryl Chykeyuk, CEO and founder HYPERVSN
Chykeyuk explains how holographic content can help engage audiences, communicate information and create memorable experiences
PHOTO: HYPERVSN

With the evolution of smartphones, tablets, 3D imagery and the sharpest visual quality on screens at home, consumers have become accustomed to heightened digital experiences. Now, they are applying these expectations to all aspects of daily life such as public leisure spaces, including amusement and theme parks.

The pressure is on for the attractions industry to engage with attendees in new and innovative ways. The aim is to leave a lasting impression on visitors and create positive word-of-mouth, but how can operators take steps to heighten innovation in their parks?

Engagement disconnect

Digital displays, often used to communicate information such as when certain rides open, estimated queue times and maps for wayfinding, are failing to engage attendees in 2024. New standards of viewer immersion are being set with visual innovations, such as holographic solutions and 3D imagery.

With holograms, every corner of an attractions venue becomes an immersive journey where the magic leaps right out at attendees. Attractions can swap out the old-school info boards and replace them with interactive mascots that answer any question in a given language, host immersive live events or even facilitate games that let participants spin reels for prizes.

With the stakes raised by pricier tickets, holographic technology is exactly what operators need to ramp up the wow factor and give families experiences they’ll be raving about for years.

Creating memorable experiences

Holographic technology can be integrated in several ways to enhance the experience. Rather than deliver information about rides and other services via displays, operators could incorporate AI-powered holographic chatbots to answer questions. Visitors can quickly have a query answered in the language of their choice.

The pressure is on for the attractions industry to connect with visitors in new ways

A chatbot, or personal assistant, could take any form, such as the mascot for the company or a fictional character that resonates with children. We’ve already seen digital characters integrated into the theme park environment that can answer questions in real-time, such as a Finding Nemo character at Disney World. Holographic characters can become an attraction in their own right, and could even host a live event, such as a quiz, to elevate engagement.

Elsewhere, there are other opportunities to engage visitors, such as interactive games. Attendees can pull a physical lever to initiate the spinning of holographic reels for a chance to win prizes. This is a prime example of a ‘phygital’ experience, where physical and digital elements are combined. This kind of experience could be implemented at the entrance of a park to engage visitors from the first interaction.

Enriching the journey for visitors

As attractions such as amusement and theme parks face the challenge of justifying increased admission prices with enriched visitor experiences, the integration of innovative technologies, such as holographic displays, phygital experiences and interactive games present a promising solution. Traditional park visits can be transformed into immersive interactive journeys that captivate guests from the moment they step inside, rather than just when they go on rides. Families, who now spend more of their hard-earned money for the best experiences, leave with lasting impressions, a desire to return and only positive feedback to report to others.

Holographic displays, phygital experiences and interactive games could captivate guests
Hypervsn has showcased its SmartV Digital Avatar Solution at tech shows / PHOTO: HYPERVSN
Hologram Zoo

Hologram Zoo opened in Brisbane Australia in 2023, featuring life-like 3D holograms of animals, created using lasers.

Visitors travel through 20m-long holographic tunnels featuring a number of different locations, where they can get up close to laser-projected 3D animals including hippos, giraffes, pandas and giant whales.

Visitors wear special position-tracked glasses with a graphics engine that generates a unique image for every eye looking at the screen.

The zoo features different locations, including the African Savannah, the North Pole, Asia, and Australia, and guests can also travel back in time and visit the dinosaurs. 4D elements designed to enhance the experience include scents, wind and different temperatures.

The technology was developed by Bruce Dell, CEO of hologram technology provider Axiom Holographics.

“Hologram entertainment centres are a fantastic way to be teleported to places that you couldn’t normally visit, and you can experience things you would normally never see,” says Dell. “I don’t think people really know just how big a whale is, but when they see a giant life-sized whale swim past them at Hologram Zoo, they all seem to pause in reverent silence because it’s something that they would normally never get the opportunity to see in real life.”

Visitors can get up close to the holographic animals at the Hologram Zoo / IMAGE COURTESY OF AXIOM HOLOGRAPHICS AND HOLOGRAM ZOO
IMAGE COURTESY OF AXIOM HOLOGRAPHICS AND HOLOGRAM ZOO

Originally published in Attractions Management 2024 issue 2

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