Hub Zero

December 16, 2019 Jenn Petersen

Innovation, immersion and interactivity push the boundaries of gaming into a futuristic world

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

OVERVIEW

Hub Zero located in City Walk, Dubai’s lifestyle destination, is a massive arcade and entertainment park that uses advanced audiovisual technologies to push the limits of gaming and themed entertainment to new levels. It’s innovative, interactive and immersive and brings together 18 attractions, rides and experiential zones featuring some of the most exciting virtual reality and gaming experiences from the world’s leading franchises. According to Meraas, the owners, it’s ‘a gamers’ paradise where the real world and the virtual world collide to create a brand-new universe’. Here, video games are no longer restricted to computer screens — there are driving simulators, retro arcades, karaoke rooms and an interactive virtual climbing wall. Together they provide a cutting-edge interactive gaming experience with several attractions exclusively developed for Hub Zero powered by artificial intelligence and real-time engines.

Visitors pass through a lobby area then enter a kind of fantasy world – a totally different dimension where they can explore a series of futuristic streets and gaming zones. Dynamic signage attracts gamers with key scenes from popular computer games at the entrance to each attraction. The signage incorporates 3D elements and dramatic lighting to create a focal point for each of the games. Individual attractions feature customized media presentations at their entrance that display gaming images and current scores of the participants. Inside, groups of up to 20 gamers can play with individual games projected onto 5 meter wide screens.

Working with main contractor Riva Parks and designers Pico, Electrosonic was responsible for the overall audiovisual infrastructure that featured 20 separate installations with dedicated projection and ambient audio to support the different zones within the 15,000 square metre complex. This innovative fusion of technologies creates an environment that the designers describe as greater than the sum its parts — a thrilling space where visitors can ‘live the game’.

CHALLENGE

Creating a futuristic environment like Hub Zero required an innovative approach to designing and deploying technology. Electrosonic had to design and integrate high quality ambient audio and projection systems with lighting and special effects as well as sophisticated gaming systems that featured virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Because of the complexity of some of the attractions, a number of systems had to be assembled and tested off-site before delivery as complete packages to Hub Zero for final commissioning, show programming and installation. The audio system for the massive complex consisted of 150 separate speakers with specialist controls required to manage and maintain sound quality across the distributed environment. The scale and scope of the installation meant that a single overall audiovisual infrastructure would be required to centralize and simplify day-to-day monitoring and control across racks housed in nine electronic equipment rooms. Final on-site installation was to be carried out by Electrosonic’s team working closely with local technical staff. The team also had to collaborate with the many specialists working on different technologies within the complex to resolve any interoperability issues.

Stunning images created by the world’s leading photographers and artists engage and retain visitors with a dynamic virtual art collection.

Solution

Electrosonic developed a solution for the ambient audio deployment using a Cobranet® distribution system, which uses Ethernet to deliver audio efficiently over long distances to 150 speakers in multiple locations. The project team installed 20 separate attractions with source and control equipment sited in 11 racks. In addition to projectors and digital signage, the team installed 45 LCDs, three 5 metre wide screens and centralized show control.

Key takeaways

Hub Zero is the first immersive entertainment venue in the region and reflects the increasing global demand for innovative gaming experiences. The complex is designed to leave visitors with a lasting impression. It takes gaming products from the world’s leading developers and adds elements like artificial intelligence and mind-blowing virtual reality to create a thrilling series of attractions that appeal to serious gamers and families alike.

"The experiential entertainment at Hub Zero will challenge visitor perceptions and revolutionize how gamers see and experience video games. We are confident the stimulating and engaging journey will compel visitors to come back time after time." - Jean Marc Bled, General Manager, Leisure & Entertainment Meraas 

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