The Gateway at Smithsonian Castle


Interactive Installation




Cinder, C++, Python, OSC, Google Analytics

The Gateway is an multi-user interactive table and programmable LED wall in Smithsonian Castle. Structurally built into the building’s dramatic entry hall. With over 320 sq ft of display area spread across 300+ digital tiles, the wall serves as a spectacular canvas for high resolution video on everything from history to the natural world, and allows visitors to literally walk through the content as they enter the hall’s galleries.

As users approach the table, motion sensors trigger a chain of pop-up videos, content, and displays, encouraging users to drag and drop videos to their “personal screen.” Tiles generate across the table where up to 12 concurrent users can preview or watch hundreds of videos and even hookup their own headphones. Best of all, the table allows users to “DJ” the wall. From the helm of the table, a single user can select what will play next from the collection on the custom display. To keep things fun for users of all ages, the table periodically converts to a large scale, multi-user game, where users compete by quickly tapping tiles to select the next highlighted category to play on the wall. Finally, the wall can even be utilized for special functions and events as a one-of-a-kind display device for anyone with a computer to plug in.

The interactive has two PCs (for the wall and table), three Raspberry Pis(for proximity sensing).

Early design sketch

Potion Team

Principal: Phillip Tiongson
Producer: Abby Palmer
Designers: John Moses, Edyta Lewicka
Developers: Ritesh Lala, Luobin Wang