Brainchild of marketing agency Colenso, the Mountain Dew skatepark was another world first for the AA team. The client asked us to provide the tech behind a million dollar product launch for Mountain Dew.
The basis was a lifesize skatepark built in a giant film studio, the public were invited to skate the park for one month with prizes for the best scores and tricks. Our job was to turn the acre of plywood and paint into a living breathing pinball machine with lighting, pinball sound effects and an automated scoring system.
Sensor locations were determined in conjunction with the parks “skate ambassadors” who specified the heights up walls needed for best points, combinations of tricks, speed between two points etc. A combination of Sick point to point laser and proximity sensors were embedded in the park to start and end the game and indicate score while the game was underway. Park control was done by staff using ipads running custom built software.
Pinball lighting effects were achieved with a combination of custom built fixtures mounted in the structure of the park and overhead theatrical lighting fixtures, all of which were run of DMX512 protocol 3 phase 56amp dimmer packs controlled by the scoring PC. Sound effects were triggered by sensor events and sent out to a commercial grade PA dressed to look like scaled up pinball machine speakers.
In addition to the pinball system we also developed a “bullet time” camera rig to capture a 360 degree photo of the participants. A massive aluminium ring housed 30 Canon cameras triggered simultaneously by a grid of lasers covering the ring. Photos were collected from the cameras by wireless SD memory cards onto a PC which assembled the photos into the correct order, made a scrubbable video and uploaded it to the mountain dew website for the skaters to view, rate and download when they got home. Activating and deactivating the ring was done via custom webpage on an ipad.