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Detroit Zoo Provides ‘4D’ Antarctic Experience

Using Alcorn McBride gear, SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment recreates Shackleton’s Endurance Journey

Shown is the entrance ramp to the Detroit Zoo’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center where the 4D simulation of Shackleton’s exploration in Antarctica greets visitors.

ORLANDO, FLA.– Detroit Zoo’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center has tapped Alcorn McBride to provide video gear for its new ‘4D’ Antarctic Experience. Using three Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop uncompressed synchronized video players and five short-throw, ceiling-mounted Digital Projection Insight 4K Laser projectors, SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment–a Maryland-based 4D cinematic content designer–has recreated Ernst Shackleton’s journey, before losing his ship to the Antarctic ice, with a 4D Antarctic environment.

“We recreated the ship as authentically as possible, placing the visitors on deck and illustrating the ordeal of the journey – the weather, the rough seas, the animals and the icebergs they observed,” explains Richard Needham, creative director at SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment in Toronto. “Visitors not only see the 360 degree content but also feel the wind, sea spray and a light dusting of snow.” Needham captured the video content for the experience during a trip to Antarctica.

Fans, mist and snow machines recreate all of the wintery conditions required for a 4D experience while an Alcorn McBride’s V16+ show controller runs all the Alcorn equipment through two Alcorn McBride ShowTouch touch panels, one for each projection space. The A/V Binloop players sync together 21 channels of effects for a four minute show, continually on a loop throughout the day.

According to Needham, visitors are blown away by the experience and the zoo “is very happy with our choice of equipment.”