There’s no other way to say it – the $3.4 billion MGM COTAI resort in Macau, China is likely the most awe-inspiring and innovative integrated experience the world has ever known.
It features the Spectacle, a dazzling, experience-driven atrium boasting the world’s largest free-span, gridshell glazed roof and 25 LED walls capable of displaying four-story-tall images. As guests walk in, they’re treated to towering displays melding art and architecture, dazzling the senses and providing a never-before-seen experience.
They’re also invited to Asia’s first dynamic theater featuring the world’s largest indoor LED screen, MGM COTAI delivers on a promise to redefine what’s possible with audiovisual solutions.
And Electrosonic delivered the power to engineer this groundbreaking space “Where Imagination Comes to Life™.”
Working alongside key partners like Rockwell International, Smart Monkeys and VER, Electrosonic delivered upon the resort’s lofty vision, crafting an immersive, multisensory experience that reshapes the way people experience entertainment, art and more.
Let’s dive into exactly how these partners collaborated to alter the AV landscape forever, creating an unmatched lens through which the entirety of the future of AV design and implementation will be viewed.
The Spectacle and MGM Theater
At the heart of MGM COTAI are the dueling centerpieces of the resort, the Spectacle and the MGM COTAI Dynamic Theater.
The goals of each were simple – create the world’s foremost experience in their respective spaces.
With the Spectacle, the MGM COTAI team wanted to fuse architecture, storytelling and technology to provide a never-before-seen immersive experience leveraging the sheer physical size of the atrium, natural light and AV solutions that integrate naturally with and play off of those environmental factors.
That effort resulted in a space boasting the world’s largest area of permanent indoor LED screens, which are placed throughout the atrium and display a collage of changing digital art meant to inspire and provoke thought among visitors.
“Here at the Spectacle, what we’re really doing is enabling the organization to tell the story, draw the guests into the space and create that immersive environment,” said Jon Hancock, Electrosonic CEO.
These digital efforts complement a permanent collection of more than 300 art pieces that play off that technological achievement and create a unique sense of harmony between art and AV solutions.
“One of them is what we call ‘Windows of the World,’ so it’s actually a celebration of the natural environment capturing the world heritage sites of the world,” said Grant Bowie, Former CEO and Executive Director, MGM China Holdings Limited. “Then, there’s the ‘Cosmic World’ and also the ‘World of Art and Nature’ and the ‘World of Flow and Fluids.’ This is our adaption and adoption of being part of this environment and this community.”
The MGM COTAI Dynamic Theater was no less ambitious.
With it, the MGM COTAI team wanted to present a multisensory experience the likes of which had never been attempted. This meant utilizing a truly massive, configurable screen that enables cutting-edge performance through unique applications as a backdrop for multimedia experiences and immersive sound imagery that transports audiences into the experience, itself.
“When we started on our journey to create MGM COTAI, we obviously need to reflect on, ‘Who are we as MGM?’ And, more importantly, what journey are we on?,” Bowie said. “We wanted to recognize, as part of this building, the modernity. The modern China. The transformation of China. The journey of their history but, more importantly, their journey into the future.
“We want to use science and engineering to create humanity and to create art.”
So, the goals were defined – MGM COTAI wanted to be the best in the world.
But how did they make it happen?
Electrosonic and Its Partners Bring MGM COTAI to Life
When Rockwell International was tasked with designing the interior of the Spectacle, the company trusted Electrosonic with the nuts and bolts of ensuring the proposed integration of technology into the space delivered on its massive potential.
And Electrosonic answered the bell.
Tackling the overwhelming physical challenge of integrating solutions into the architecture of such a massive space and the technological obstacle of finding a way to effectively manage the enormous amounts of media and data flowing throughout those solutions, Electrosonic delivered:
- 15 equipment racks for video
- Two audio racks
- One theater show control rack
- Over 100 amplifiers
- 25 LED screens stretching more than 1,000 meters
To aid in the aforementioned transfer of data, Electrosonic tapped Smart Monkeys and VER.
“The biggest challenge, really, was about video playback. It’s a lot of media. It’s a lot of data, and transferring that data to these screens can be quite complex,” said Chris Conte, Electrosonic VP of New Business Development. “Electrosonic helped solve these problems by bringing on some key partners.
“The first partner we brought on was Smart Monkeys. They helped us with our virtual control system. And then we had to choose an LED partner that understood careful integration into architecture. So, we selected VER.”
Together, the quarter did the legwork to ensure the research, specification and other planning-phases tasks supported the MGM COTAI’s vision for a truly world-shaking Spectacle at the resort.
Electrosonic also took the actual use of the integrated solutions into account. Without a properly trained staff to operate such innovative technology, the full storytelling and inspirational potential of a place like the Spectacle would be at risk of remaining untapped.
To that end, MGM flew the newly formed resort technology team’s employees to the company’s Burbank, California offices for a thorough, two-week training session that gave them the tools they needed to effectively deliver on the resort’s initial vision for visitors.
The results exceeded expectations – with these tools under their belt, MGM COTAI employees successfully navigate and power the most innovative technology in the world.
Electrosonic’s work on the MGM COTAI Dynamic Theater was no less thorough as, without the region’s first dynamic theater to complement and enhance the awe-inspiring Spectacle, the resort’s vision would have been only partly realized.
The central challenge in developing solutions for the dynamic theater was the sheer scale of the MGM COTAI team’s vision – the resort’s team wanted nothing short of a world-first, 28-million-pixel entertainment experience.
That’s a tall order.
However, by once again carefully crafting solutions to fit the unique space and considering how best to approach the challenge not only for the short term, but in a way that makes the theater adaptable and impressive for years and years to come, Electrosonic made it happen.
In creating the dynamic theater, Electrosonic helped in the design phase to:
- A 900-square-meter 4K LED screen that would cover the area of three tennis courts
- Unmatched flexibility – in theater mode, the space can seat 2,000 people in 10 separate configurations
- Immersive sound imagery capabilities
- The ability to host multiple shows simultaneously
Looking Ahead, Even in the Post-Pandemic ‘New Normal’
MGM COTAI’s diverse solutions come together to create a space that’s years ahead of other immersive, AV experiences, delivering a one-of-a-kind space that’s ready to grow and adapt to the ever-changing world of AV technology and customer expectations.
Vast, remarkable and truly innovative, MGM COTAI is at the leading edge of that changing landscape.
“The nature of entertainment is changing,” said Grant Bowie, Former CEO and Executive Director, MGM China Holdings Limited. “The consumer wants to capture memories. They want to be part of the entertainment experience. … What we need to do is continue to evolve and set up the set for that.
“We’re creating an environment where every guest can come onto our property and can build their own story.”
The experience is also ready for the post-pandemic “new normal,” leveraging extensive display and integration options to provide key wayfinding and informative information, integrating robust security and access control measures into an already comprehensive system, enforcing social distancing in key spaces, and more to ensure that guests are able to have the peace of mind needed to truly enjoy the inspiring space.
To learn more about how Electrosonic can help bring your cutting-edge, transformational AV experience to life, contact us today.