Contact Igloo

Client

Florida International University

Location

Florida, USA

Date

2020

Product

6-metre cylinder

As Florida’s public research university in the Greater Miami area, Florida International University (FIU) is committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with its local and global communities.

Many years ago, FIU’s Glenn Hubert Library housed an analog tv and radio production studio and station, and the space eventually became a virtual meeting facility. In 2019, the University set out to revamp this space with the latest storytelling technology for use by artists, journalists, and communication students. From the beginning, FIU knew it wanted a shared immersive space to accommodate 360° content - the question was, who to go to?

The hunt began for a provider and soon led FIU to Igloo. From there, FIU quickly decided that we offered the most capable and flexible software suite. So, we worked with the university specifying the perfect solution to make the most of its budget and space and installed a 6-metre Igloo cylinder - now known as the i360 - in its Hubert Library on the Biscayne Bay campus.

FIU’s Igloo system is a notable one - it’s the first to be equipped with a state-of-the-art, ground-shaking Sennheiser AMBEO sound system. A nine-speaker setup hidden behind an acoustically-transparent screen creates an immersive, ambisonic soundscape - so the sound appears to emanate, not just from in front or behind the audience, but above and below too.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, FIU has had limited opportunities to make use of the Igloo. But, as restrictions ease, it has plenty of ideas to put into action:

  • The i360 will be part of a hub at the Library for artist exhibitions. Artists will be able to showcase their own immersive content inside the i360. The library plans to offer local artists the ability to borrow 360° cameras. It’s anticipated the space can provide a behind-the-scenes look at the artists’ process: for example, footage could be captured with a 360° camera of the artist’s studio and shown to visitors in the i360 before they explore the artist’s actual work.
  • The Library will be collaborating with a resident artist with expertise specifically in immersive soundscapes, to assist students and lecturers with making the most of the AMBEO setup and collaborating with them on audiovisual pieces. The artist also will offer to collaborate with scientists, to create a combined visual and auditory interpretive experience of faculty research.
  • It’ll also be a key facility for Communications and Journalism students - immersive technology has the power to transform storytelling and reporting and the i360, with its immersive sound and vision, will be the ideal space for these students to explore that concept. Students are already building documentaries using immersive content not just for the i360 itself, but for VR headsets and YouTube360 too.
  • To support students in their creative endeavors, the Library has invested in a range of tools such as GoPros and Insta360 cameras (including a mighty Insta360 Titan).
  • And there are also plans to provide the i360 as a facility for the local community and municipalities too, continuing the University’s history of engagement with these groups.

Watch this space for more as FIU’s students and teachers ramp up use and get immersed in Igloo technology.