Eyes Open For Giant 14-Foot LED Selfie Head At Columbus, OH Convention Center

I like how fine pitch LED is making for some highly creative displays – like this giant head that opened its eyes last night at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, in Columbus, Ohio.

The LED head electronics were manufactured by SNA Displays, and the structure and integration was by Design Communications Ltd.

This is a custom 5mm pitch LED display formed in layered strips to the shape of a human head, with a radius as tight as eight inches. Not sure how the curve is done as I thought maybe the LED modules were flexible, but I’m told they are not. Lotsa smaller modules, I guess.

You can get a sense of how this was pulled off in these photos:

There is a custom photo booth with over 30 cameras that allow someone to put their image on the display.

It’s an art piece – 14-feet high and using 850,000 LEDs. The local business newspaper says the project cost $1.5 million, but its proponents say it will be a tourism magnet – as we know how much people love selfies. There’s a video with the online news story.

Here’s what Jeff Grantz of Design Communications says about it on Linkedin:

It’s been almost a year in the making, but yesterday DCL successfully commissioned “As We Are”, an interactive sculpture installation at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Conceived by artist Matthew Mohr, this piece merges art, technology, and creative programming to create a thoughtfully engaging work of public art that simultaneously reinforces both diversity and oneness. During this rather turbulent time in our country, it was an honor to have worked on a project with this inspiration behind it and with all the industry partners needed to bring it to reality.

This 14′ tall sculpture is roughly 7000 pounds and sits on a drivable electric platform that allows it to be moved and rotated 180 degrees each night – to face the exterior of the building. The fabricated aluminum structure holds nearly 3000 custom-engineered 5mm Sansi LED modules which create 24 curved layers to make up the form of a human head.

The interior of the head has an integrated photo booth which uses 30 cameras to capture a 3D image of the person sitting inside. A custom developed software then unwraps the 3D model into a flattened texture map that is presented on the head within a minute of the completed scan. I came to DCL because I wanted to build projects exactly like this!

Kind of amazing, particularly the idea that people can walk up and scare the hell out a crowd with their giant head. … Well, at least my head would.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
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