A journey into the heart of energy through digital technologies

In the former Taccani hydroelectric plant in Trezzo sull’Adda, five renewable energy sources of Enel Green Power they become characters to know and interact with.

The interior of the former Taccani hydroelectric plant (Trezzo sull’Adda, MI)

The former Taccani hydroelectric plant in Trezzo sull’Adda (Milan) is a space that opens up to the territory and that, with our interactive layout, presents the reality of Enel Green Power to a wider audience. In collaboration with Storyfactory, we have created an informative story and an emotional and fun journey, characterized by an understandable language and playful but formative activities.

The narration can be used on several levels. The visitor experience takes place by interacting with the characters that represent the 5 renewable energy sources, and can be customized based on a differentiated audience. There is an immediate familiarity created with the characters thanks to the vocal and sound interaction of the experience, to which we have paid particular attention. That renders the engagement and the immersive journey significantly more realistic.

The exhibition will be repeated in other Enel Green Power group plants, with the next one taking place in Aquoria in Lazio. We have therefore created a scalable and stand alone installation, consisting of self-supported modules and an immersive four-meter cylindrically shaped exhibit space that can also be allocated in other situations.

Outstanding guides for the visitor journey

Visitors are welcomed by a guide that wears a construction helmet. That becomes the tool to activate the voice recognition system within the helmet. Thanks to keywords, the soul guide Idro, the character that represents water energy and provides content and explanations on the operation of the various stations. In fact, the exhibition takes place in stages in each of which a specific theme is tackled.

In the first station “The first encounter with energy”, Idro welcomes visitors. Its appearance is enveloping, moving, created through procedurally generated particle graphics. In the following “We have a lot in common”, visitors are asked to interact by positioning themselves in front of the screens. The system calculates the energy produced by this movement and, thanks to a Kinect that detects the position of people (even in groups), the shape of the movement is generated. The output was customized in shape, color and graphics thanks to Computer Vision which quantifies the energy expended for the completion of tasks, such as turning on a light bulb.

The journey into the heart of energy” ends within a large and immersive cylindrical space, where all the characters and their animated worlds wrap around the visitor. Also in this instance, the characters and contents are activated by the voice recognition system placed inside the guide’s helmet. Animation videos describe the sources, the power stations and their operation. Additional in-depth content can be activated with “pop-up” videos throughout the duration of the story.

The last stop presents the game “Energy remix” with two independent stations, joystick and thermal printer. When approaching the stations, Hydro explains the game calling on the players to choose between landscapes, different energy sources and types of power plants that, in the end, resut in an energy efficiency coefficient: an “ecopoint” receipt to take home that also contains some fun facts about the type of energy and plant selected.

The station “We have a lot in common”

Technological innovations, including speech recognition and procedural sound design

The central cylindrical shape (“The Heart of Energy”), is the focal point of the experience and is a particularly complex environment for the management of multimedia content, due to the amount of pixels and the synchrony between images and procedural audio, generated by the SuperCollider platform . In the 360 ° space the Bluetooth Beacon technology detects the proximity in order to activate the voice recognition system found within the helmet. All the background sound of the 360 ° space is generated in real time and is never the same: the sounds of water, wind, fire or the sea are synthesized in a way that always produces a different sound effect.

A view of the character Mariasole from the 360° “The Heart of Energy”

by Fabrizio Pignoloni, co-founder and art director of Dotdotdot.

We are a multidisciplinary interaction design studio founded in Milan in 2004, in which experimentation is at the core of innovation.