A 4D virtual reality experience that takes people on what sounds like a startlingly thrilling and realistic ride in a replica of the stark, skeletal winch elevator that ascends the 700-ft-tall wall at Castle Black in the HBO show has been getting a lot of press lately as it makes the rounds as a part of the touring “Game of Thrones” exhibit, which stopped most recently at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
Featuring authentic costumes and memorabilia from the American fantasy-drama, the exhibition was very popular in 2013, but HBO wanted to make it even more so, so they challenged experiential marketing firm, Relevent, to come up with something remarkable. It appears the company has done so with “Ascend the Wall.” Seeing people’s reactions as they ride it, such as in this short video which may be viewed on the Forbes website, clearly suggests that it is scarily convincing. Relevent worked with image developer Framestore to create the photo-real experience that “uses Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets, the Unity game engine, Oscar-winning VFX piplines, wind machines, real elevators and rumble packs to take the user into the world of ‘Game of Thrones,’ ”
4D elements added by Relevent include high-powered fans to create a whipping wind as the cage scales the wall, a rumble deck under the elevator to simulate creaky movement as it climbs and C02 jets that blast subzero air as one “steps” out onto the promontories. The exhibit has succeeded in generating buzz for the show as it gears up for Season 4 in April.
For upcoming tour dates and cities, visit the HBO website.
Cast member Kristian Nairn scales the virtual wall.
No wonder everyone is taking the stairs! This terrifying National Geographic advertisement of a crocodile appears at the foot of an escalator in Brazil. The campaign is for a program called ‘Mundo Salvagem de Richard Rasmussen’ and featuring a tagline that translates as ‘Ready for an adventure through the Brazilian forests?’.
The veritable optical illusion consists of a 3D drawing of a crocodile jumping out of water at the bottom of the escalator, creating an unnerving situation for those about to disembark.
The Barbados-born pop-music star Rihanna recently posted a “selfie” to her Instagram in which she is striking an alluring pose in an elevator in an unknown location, all dressed up (or down) in some of the latest haute couture. MTV deemed the photo “buzzworthy,” and posted it to their Buzzworthy website, noting how Rihanna’s “I’m so relaxed and sexy” demeanor is the polar opposite of most people’s stiff, uncomfortable elevator attitudes — typically involving silence and staring at the wall. According to Forbes, Rihanna, 26, has an estimated net worth of US$43 million, which would definitely cause most people to convey an air of relaxation, if not sexiness.
The Science Channel produces a series of short videos called What The Ancients Knew. The series explores the advanced technology developed by ancient civilizations and travels back in time to understand what motivated these early inventions. This particular video takes a closer look at the technology used within the Colosseum in Rome, including the first elevators and how they were used.
Bill Thomas of the Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority (MARTA) was among those who braved ice and snow to attend the Annual General Membership meeting of the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) February 10-12 at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport North in Atlanta. During a roundtable discussion on Day Two, Thomas spoke about progress that has been made to revitalize MARTA, which has a reputation for broken-down elevators often used as urinals. Recently, such incidents came to a virtual halt, he said, after MARTA installed a urine-detection system. In addition, many of the units are in the process of being replaced or upgraded. The system has 111 elevators and 149 escalators, and approximately 420,400 passengers use the system daily. New MARTA CEO Keith Parker remains focused, Thomas said, on turning the system around, and elevators and escalators are an integral part of that. Remarkably, he said, the most frequent reason elevator passengers call for help is not due to malfunction at all, but rather their failing to press a button to activate the elevator and believing they are stuck. New signage should alleviate that situation, and MARTA also plans to look into integrating some EESF safety signage into the system.
Access Solutions and Waupaca Elevators recently teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant a disabled teens wish. Tommy is an 18-year old battling CNS Vasculitis– a life-threatening condition of the central nervous system– that causes him to rely on a wheelchair for mobility. The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions, contacted Tommy about his one special wish. What is the one thing he asked for? An elevator to carry him to the basement where he could enjoy his train sets. This was the first time that Make-A-Wish had helped install an elevator in a home. Kudos to these elevator companies for being a part of this project.
2013 Photo Contest Entry: A view of observation cars from the atrium of the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco (photo by Keven Kwok, Otis) -
It’s that time again! Send us your best industry-related photos and you could win cash (US$250) and be published in ELEVATOR WORLD magazine! Last year, we received more than 200 submissions from 10 countries, with both companies and amateur photo enthusiasts across the globe participating. For entire details, and to download an entry form, click here. We look forward to viewing the elevator world through your unique lens.
Here’s hoping that you have a better Valentine’s Day than this gentleman. At least he made sure his $50 in flowers didn’t go to waste.
The lobby of an elevator built 200 meters inside Ma’an Mountain in Liuzhou, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
A man enjoys a view of Liuzhou from the peak of Ma’an Mountain.
An elevator costing 49 million yuan ($8.09 million) was installed inside Ma’an mountain to make the 272-meter-high (892 feet) peak more accessible to tourists in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Tourists eager to catch a view of downtown Liuzhou can reach the top of looming Ma’an Mountain in just 48 seconds using the new elevator.
The elevator travels 173-meters (568 feet) through the mountain and is capable of carrying 13 passengers. Once atop the mountain passengers are treated to stunning views from a fan-shaped deck. The elevator can hold 30 tourists at one time and a maximum capacity of 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds).
The climb has dissuaded most tourists from hiking to the summit of the mountain in the past and the elevator now makes it more convenient, according to Wang Liuqiang, a staffer at Liuzhou Civil Air Defense Office.
The entrance to the elevator, which began construction in 2011, includes a 200 meter-long (656 feet) tunnel into the mountain.
The mountain elevator is the second of its kind in China, the first of which was built in 2009 at the Yuanyang Stream Resort in Pingnan county, Fujian Province and cost 30 million yuan ($4.96 million).