LETI scientist took part in the development of a smart stand which serves to popularize theatre plays

LETI scientist took part in the development of a smart stand which serves to popularize theatre plays

The Wailing Wall stand introduces the viewers to the extracts from the Alexandrinsky Theatre plays through modern technology.

17.01.2024 128

Nowadays more and more pieces of art employ direct interaction with the audience. They react to people’s actions with light and sound effects and sometimes even move their own elements in response. Such interactive exhibits attract a lot of public attention and make the process of cultural development more compelling to people of all ages.

Designing such pieces of art is a potential occupation for engineers as it is them who can guarantee that the technical facet of the exhibit functions properly. For instance, a young scientist of the ETU “LETI”, a resident of the Practice-oriented laboratory PROLAB CDIO of LETI, Artem Podoksenov contributed into the development of an interactive stand which emerges the viewers into the atmosphere of the world’s great novels and plays.

“Together with the specialists of the Department of Technology of the Smart Light Company we have built the Wailing Wall stand. It is a wall with three speakers styled as headsets attached to it. Six special black silhouettes are also attached to the wall and, looking at them, the audience may think of some world-renowned pieces of literature. When a person holds a speaker close to one of the silhouettes, they can hear an extract from the play that is based on the piece of literature this symbol refers to. This way, through listening to the recording, the viewer can prove that their guess was right or find out what piece of literature was coded with a black silhouette”.

Student of the Faculty of Information Measurement and Biotechnical Systems of LETI, a Practice-oriented laboratory PROLAB CDIO resident, Artem Podoksenov

The plays which a viewer can listen to while interacting with the stand are those from the repertory of the Alexandrinsky theatre. The audio files were presented by the theatre staff. They have chosen Hamlet, the Marriage, the Inspector General, Masquerade. Remembrance of the Future and Crime and Punishment as well as Poems and Thoughts to be played at the stand.

To make the interaction with the stand more comfortable, the engineers decided to make it possible to listen to all six recordings through one speaker – a viewer just needs to hold the device close to the black figure which caught their interest. This concept was brought to life with the help of the RFID tags.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. This technology uses radio signals to automatically identify special tags attached to objects. The RFID tag itself consists of two parts – microchip and antenna. The microchip serves to store the necessary data and the antenna – to record and read it. Nowadays such tags are widely used, e.g. in the door phones keys.

Artem Podkosenkov’s task was to develop an RFID tag reading system which would allow to identify the number of the speaker and to send a specific recording to it depending on what symbol it is close to.

“The RFID tags we have used get activated upon contact with the reader which is installed in the wall under each symbol. Thus, the system defines which speaker is close to the symbol the viewer is interested in. Then the data is transmitted to the server which plays the needed recording. It means that there happens a switching; the Smart Light engineers worked on this. As a result the needed recording is sent to the speaker”.

Student of the Faculty of Information Measurement and Biotechnical Systems of LETI, a Practice-oriented laboratory PROLAB CDIO resident, Artem Podoksenov

The Wailing Wall interactive stand was given to an industrial partner. It can be used at large cultural events, exhibitions, book fairs, etc. The stand was introduced to the public for the first time at the XVIII Book Salon, which took place in Saint Petersburg in the Dvortsovaya Square.

The sound system of the Wailing Wall was developed in the Practice-oriented laboratory PROLAB CDIO of LETI where university students and schoolchildren can realize their projects on their own or under the mentorship of engineers. The main purpose of the laboratory is to create a free educational space, as well as the basis for additional professional education.