Almost 3,000 Computer-Controlled Tiles Mimic Sea’s Motions In This Giant Kinetic Sculpture

January 16, 2024 by Dave Haynes

This is not digital signage, and more an alternative to the big LED visuals that have been schemed into newly-built experiential environments in the last few years. Like big video walls, this project uses real-time data to drive the visual experience.

It’s a giant kinetic sculpture that encompasses a grand staircase on a new cruise ship. It spans 53 feet (16 meters) in diameter, and has almost 3,000 computer-controlled “Sway-Tiles” – a new medium developed by the Brooklyn-based experiential tech firm BREAKFAST. Each tile has three custom actuators, which enable  movement along 18-inch linear rails.

Called The Pearl, BREAKFAST says the sculpture “mimics the fluid motions of water, wind, and marine life. The kinetic tiles bring to life the dynamic essence of the ocean, with certain movements dynamically responding to real-time wind and tide data from the Caribbean.”

The project is installed on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas.

BREAKFAST, digital signage people may recall, was one of the small companies that revived and evolved the idea of electro-mechanical flip disc/split flap displays, and even had a stand at DSE a few years back.

Why mention this? It’s always good, I think, to remind LED display manufacturers that their answer to adding big visuals to a newly-built or reno’d space is ONE answer, but not the only answer.

Here’s a video

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