Geek Out

Sydney Gets World's Largest Permanent Interactive Light Display

It’s no secret that we’re fans of building façade projections here at Giz — I mean who hasn’t looked at the side of a skyscraper and imagined glass windows as pixels for a giant screen? That’s what Melbourne-based lighting director Bruce Ramus (of Opera House light projection fame) has done with Luminous: the 150m wide, four-storey tall interactive art installation in Darling Harbour, Sydney. The lights went on over the weekend and Gizmodo went along to check it out.


The windows of new Commonwealth Bank building in Darling Quarter have been wired with a total of 557 LED lights to create what’s effectively a 207×4 resolution display.

Those eating dinner at restaurants below can interact with the screen via a web app or a 32-inch hardened glass multitouch screens on location. “Those were a mission to find”, laughed David Hayes — the interactive designer/software developer working with Bruce on the project. He explained the system was coded in .NET and that a “big arsed” Windows 2008 server aided by a bunch of media servers distribute the signal throughout the building.

The 557 LED lights used to create the display (or Canvas as it’s dubbed by its creators) are said to use the same energy — 10.2kW, as five household vacuum cleaners. New algorithms were written to accomplish this over the 12 months that it took to complete the project.

You can see Luminous six evenings a week from sunset or find out more (including view a live stream) at [Darling Quarter]