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Breaking barriers of sound and language at Auto Shanghai 2023


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Breaking barriers of sound and language at Auto Shanghai 2023

HOLOPLOT shattered the boundaries of conventional sound technology and language barriers at this year’s Auto Shanghai – Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. In collaboration with renowned event solutions provider Creative Technology (CT) UK and Nordic, HOLOPLOT’s flagship X1 Matrix Array took centre stage, revolutionising the way audiences experienced the highly-anticipated launch of Polestar, the Swedish electric performance car brand’s new model, the Polestar 4 electric SUV coupé.

By harnessing the power of 3D Audio-Beamforming and Wave Field Synthesis, HOLOPLOT created an inspiring multi-zone audio extravaganza, with show visitors treated to a keynote presentation from Polestar’s CEO, ingeniously delivered via two dedicated listening zones, one for English, one for Mandarin Chinese - the world’s first-ever live simultaneous translations without the need for wearables. X1 also played a pivotal role in creating a captivating audio experience throughout the show, enveloping visitors in a discoverable sonic journey.

The HOLOPLOT team worked closely with Polestar and CT UK and Nordic to create a system design that would fulfil the client’s ambitious requirements: to achieve live simultaneous translation between English and Mandarin Chinese, a feat never before accomplished without the use of headphones or any other aid other than the audio emanating directly from the sound system.

As a Swedish brand, Polestar wanted to maintain a clean and minimalist Scandinavian design, so careful consideration was given to the loudspeaker placement within the space, ensuring the technical infrastructure remained discreet by hiding as much of the technology as possible from view.

The oval-shaped space where the launch took place was divided into multiple areas. The new Polestar 4 was positioned on a central stage, surrounded by a field of red tulips, while the audience stood around the periphery of the display. At the rear was a giant LED screen, displaying captivating videos and images of Polestar’s exciting new product addition. As the company’s CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, and Maximillian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar, took to the stage to deliver their speeches in English, thanks to the clever technology behind HOLOPLOT’s innovative X1 Matrix Array, attendees could choose to follow the live presentation in either English or a simultaneous translation in Mandarin Chinese.

The system configuration comprised a main X1 array positioned above the LED screen, covering the area closest to it. Two pairs of X1 suspended at the left and right corners were utilised to project sound towards the opposite audience zones. This involved configuring the stage as a rejection zone, ensuring the cabinets on the left side would reach the audience on the far right of the room while avoiding the middle area. The same principle was applied to the other two cabinets on the right side and allowed the presenters on stage to deliver their speeches in a much more natural way.

X1’s exceptional sound control ability ensures minimal spill onto the busy trade show floor. “We were able to contain the audio on the booth within a strict zone, achieving a significant  roll off of about two metres from the aisle, adhering to strict sound level guidelines,” says HOLOPLOT Head of Sales Ryan Penny. The precise sound direction also mitigated much of the ingress of external noise, enabling visitors to fully focus on the content presented on stage and disconnect from the surrounding ambient noise outside the stand.

“Polestar is a new car manufacturer that’s forward looking and focussed on the personal experience of its customers,” adds Lee Dennison, Head of Client Services at Creative Technology UK. “They wanted to be able to really touch people with the launch and make it inclusive, ensuring everyone got the same experience and felt part of the activation. Just as Polestar pushes boundaries in innovation, they wanted to work with fellow innovators that could solve this challenge for them by providing a single system that could deliver layers of audio, including multiple languages and immersive audio environments. The only way of accomplishing that was with Holoplot.”

Homogeneous coverage for background music was also an integral part of the HOLOPLOT design. This was a feature of the remainder of the 10 day show, with the booth featuring a dedicated four-zone audio experience, with two squares positioned on the floor on the left side of the stand, delivering information about the new car’s technical specifications in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Similarly, two squares on the floor on the right hand side provided information about the brand and car, again in English and Mandarin Chinese. Each listening spot measured just one square meter and precise energy dispersion minimised spill to the rest of the stand.

"The client developed a deep understanding of the importance of audio and its significance as an integral part of an event of such magnitude," concludes Penny. "Polestar appreciated the seamless listening experience without the need for wearables. With the success of the Polestar 4 launch and a world first live simultaneous translation, and the multi-zone audio experience HOLOPLOT X1 delivered throughout the show, what was accomplished has truly opened up new possibilities and a natural way of engaging people in events.”