Do Space is a digital library that wanted to put technology in the hands of everyone for free. That’s an ambitious goal that could’ve been intimidating to visitors, so we created a welcome experience that’s easy and accessible to start every visit with a win.
Located in the heart of Omaha, Do Space is a radical new project from the Public Library. It’s also a 26,000-square-foot, two-story building packed with technology and resources available for free to the entire city. Inside, you’ll find massive computer labs, conference rooms, 3D printers, laser cutters, classes and spaces aimed at kids, teens, and seniors. Do Space is committed to nurturing Omaha’s budding entrepreneurial class as well as growing that class by providing the same cutting-edge technologies to underserved communities in the city.
To meet that ambitious mission, Do Space worked with Nanonation and local agency Swanson-Russell to create the welcome experience on a massive nine-screen video wall that can be seen from the street before you even enter the building
The welcome wall needed to be accessible and entertaining to guests across a wide spectrum of age groups and technical literacy. Because it is positioned at the primary entrance, the experience couldn’t be a single user interactive, and passive signage just wouldn’t cut it. Adding to that challenge, many visitors return frequently so we needed to create a welcome experience that could grow and change seasonally to avoid becoming stale to these valuable visitors.
Using a Kinect camera facing the entrance, we track every visitor that enters Do Space and instantly transform them into a character in a digital world. Using face-tracking software, we place a live video feed of the guest’s face into the character to personalize the experience and add a bit of fun. After a quick animation to draw the visitor’s attention, the guest’s movements control the characters. There are obvious elements in the world to interact with and tons of hidden animations that guests can discover experimenting with gestures. To avoid becoming stale, several different worlds were created, and Do space is able to handle the scheduling of those worlds directly, changing them monthly, weekly or hourly if they choose.
The Welcome wall is simple, obvious and intuitive, requiring no instructions and no history with any sort of technology. For the first time in many visitors’ lives, they’re having a personal experience with the incredible power of technology and how elegant and simple it can be instead of their typical experiences like the email they can never seem to get on their phone or the terrible online payment system that always times out. This joyful experience with technology sets the tone Do Space wants for an optimistic lifelong learner to sign up for a coding class or stride into the 3D printing lab.