University of Oxford Neuroscience Department has unveiled a touring neuro-MRI themed escape room experience designed to increase scientific confidence and curiosity in the field from the public. The University turned to us to deliver the AV brains of the operation, including projection mapping, evolving audio scapes and cinematic lighting.
The escape room has been designed as part of the University’s public engagement ambassador scheme, with the objective of providing outreach in schools, community projects, Science fairs and museums.
Visitors are met by an Artificially intelligent (A.I) evil Brain that gains consciousness and threatens to put the laboratory in lockdown. Visitors need to outsmart the brain in a series of physical and mental tasks, which offer a unique and immersive experience of brain discovery. Each challenge combines topics from MRI physics, image analysis and neuroscience with ticking timers, kinetic sand brains and tabletop puzzles.
We installed top of the line projection mapping technology to help bring the room to life including an Optoma ZH406 Projector, which is used to project images onto the A.I brain, a Brightsign XT1144 and two Brightsign HD22’s, as well as a UHD 32” Samsung Panel and HD 24” Samsung Panel which are used to showcase real-life MRI imaging and brain scans throughout the challenges.
To marry together the cinematic lighting and visuals LCI used a Enttec S-Play Light Show Controller with LED Tape and Driver, with a Custom 8 Way Relay Interface Unit.
Our Design Director, Rob Paul says:
“The aim of the room was to create an experience that engages all of the senses and gets visitors’ brains working! Our team was able to create an environment that not only challenges players, but also provides an educational insight into the workings of the brain through use of MRI imaging projections and actual brain scans taken from labs. We’re looking forward to seeing how visitors engage with the different technological elements we’ve incorporated”.
We also collaborated with audio developers Pastporte to provide a custom-built soundscape that ties in with the theme of the room and prompts visitors to interact with various neuro-themed objects.
Ben Blackler, Immersive Experience Designer, Pastporte:
“We built different soundscapes to help tell the story, including an ambient soundtrack that plays throughout the duration of the game to build atmosphere. The interesting part was formulating a sound trajectory that coincided with the brain’s activity. For the brain’s voice for example, we took a lot of inspiration from 2001: Space Odyssey incorporating different robotic sound pitches to make it appear malevolent.”
Amy Howard, PhD Oxford Neuroscience Department:
“By combining the excitement of an escape room with the fascinating world of neuroscience, we have the opportunity to engage and educate individuals in a unique and immersive way like never before. It’s been super fun working with LCI Productions and Pastporte to develop the narrative and to bring our idea to life.
Neurological concepts can be fascinating and intricate, and creating an escape room that showcases these topics can be a thrilling way to engage people’s curiosity and intellect. By immersing players in a world of brain teasers and puzzles, we can provide a fun and interactive way to explore the wonders of the mind and inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation for neuroscience.”
The results have wielded a seamless experience that educates visitors on different parts of the brain, whilst engaging the senses with a fun and interactive challenge.
Find out more about our Immersive Room services here.