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I create engaging experiences through paper, screen, and matter.

Technology Trailer

Interactive trade show exhibit that travels to your doorstep.

Client: HydroChemPSC
Roles: Creative Director • Lead Designer • Lead Developer

Summary

The HydroChemPSC Technology Trailer is an interactive mobile exhibit, that travels the country and showcases the company's latest services and technology through remotely updated touchscreen and physical interfaces.

Challenge

The client was struggling to showcase their continually evolving service-lines and state-of-the-art technology to a broad customer base throughout the United States. Traditional marketing materials only told part of the story and typical trade show exhibits were not mobile. They needed a solution that would work throughout the year, where and when they needed it.

The content needed to be easily updated so that they could keep their brand and message ahead of the competition. The ultimate goal was to inform, educate, and impress upon prospective customers the value of their services and industry leading technology.

Project requirements:

  • Create an engaging environment
  • Make content easy to update remotely
  • Showcase tangible tool functionality and value
  • Leave the customer "impressed" and educated

Solution

The solution was to design and build a mobile trade-show exhibit that allowed HydroChemPSC to bring it with them to customer locations and marketing events. This "Technology Trailer" would provide a unique interactive experience to the typical "sales pitch" and allow prospective customers to not only learn about their latest service offerings, but also to demo some of that technology in physical and virtual form.

  • Create an engaging environment

Turning a "boring" old semi-trailer interior into a futuristic themed environment was no easy task. We enlisted the help of a local trade-show exhibit company and worked with them to strip the old trailer and build the core structure for the new one. Once the guts were in, it was time to add the artwork and interactivity. Eight "stations" lined the walls and panels of the architecture allowing for a group of customers and a sales team to focus on individual topics and travel through the trailer similar to exhibits at a science museum. Various technologies were employed at each station to encourage interaction.

Some technologies used:

  • 10", 29", 50" multi-touch displays
    • Intel NUC Linux systems running dockerized os
    • Multi-screen capability
    • Custom react-native applications
  • Motion sensor-driven content
  • Realtime virtual simulations built with the Unity game engine
    • User input via custom industrial controls running on Arduino
  • Arduino controlled interactive lighting
  • Large scale back-lit capacitive "buttons" that can control display applications
  • Spacial audio controllers with hidden speakers
  • Demo versions of industrial tooling built on RaspberryPi/Arduino(s)
  • Much more...
  • Make content easy to update remotely

Each interactive display application is connected to the internet via cellular modem and can be remotely updated by authorized users, via a web-based content management system built on ReactJS and NodeJS, running on Google Cloud. Changes are instant if the trailer has a good cellular connection. Offline updates are pulled down automatically after reconnect. All display applications are cached offline and work without an internet connection. System os and applications can also be remotely flashed and monitored via balenaCloud.

Some technologies used:

  • ReactJS, React-Native, Electron
  • balenaCloud, Docker
  • Google Cloud
  • Showcase tangible tool functionality and value

The core services showcased in this project typically involved high-voltage systems, industrial pneumatics, and high-pressure water blasting, most of which are inappropriate for this environment. Simplified "demo" tools were constructed that mimicked key functionality while remaining tangible. Virtual demos built on game engine technology allowed for additional interactive experiences.

Some technologies used:

  • RaspberryPi, Arduino
  • 3D printing, CNC machining
  • Custom circuitry and electronics
  • Unity game engine
  • Leave the customer "impressed" and educated

Part of the challenge was to make sure a prospective customer enjoyed the experience and walked away educated about relevant service offerings and excited about future business opportunities. Service contracts can be worth millions of dollars, so ensuring the client stands-out against the competition is essential for the sales team. This project is solely unique in the industry and has directly resulted in increased sales since its launch.