Verizon 5G Bus 2.0

Creative Direction, Experiential, Game Engine, Interactive Design, Platform

To promote their B2B 5G solutions, Verizon created a mobile theater in 2016 in a converted Ford E-450 Shuttle Bus. It travels the U.S., from coast-to-coast and appears at event’s where Verizon wants to educate an audience about their latest 5G services. Civic Entertainment Group was asked to rebuild the physical and digital experience.

The bus had been touring the country but the experiences, the physical build-out, the technology and the content, were ready for an upgrade. Aux (Alexander) was plugged in to assemble the Voltron team to make it work. We created Version 2.0 and it launched in February 2020 at an event in Orlando Florida. The bus will continue to travel around the U.S. over the next few years. The content will continue to be updated using the one-of-a-kind remote management workflow.

The new experience is comprised of five, 85″ 4K touch-enabled displays. The displays create a series of five images or one big one. All controlled via custom local web-based CMS that drives playback through the Unity game engine. This is the second time Alexander has used a game engine to drive immersive experience content inside of a moving vehicle. (The first time was the award-winning school bus “Field Trip to Mars”.) Multiple internal systems also run through the CMS including lights and door control as system power, bus engine data and overall health of all of the services.

The entire experience is run from one server rack unit installed in the rear of the bus but not visible to the passengers. Alexander worked with the engineers to design the power system that enables the entire experience to run off a gas generator wired into the bus’s fuel tank, a battery that can run the experience for a few hours and then shore-power which enables the bus to be brought indoors at a convention and plugged into standard RV power. The bus can be booted up in less than 5 minutes and entirely monitored through a custom cloud-based babysitter application, providing everyone with real-time status updates and the ability to remotely connect if necessary. 

Technology

5 85″ 4K touch-enabled screens
3 Power options: Gas generator, Shore power or Battery
Custom designed power controls
Custom web-based CMS hosted on internal server
Content playback using Unity
Door and lighting controls using DMX and Phidget
Remote monitoring of all systems
Tablet used for all playback and error reporting

Experience

The new experience is comprised of give 85″ 4K touch-enabled screens that plays content through a custom web-based CMS that controls Unity. Through the CMS we also control the lights and doors usually combination of DMX and Phidget controllers.

The entire bus can be powered up from the server and power control area in the back in under 5 minutes. No additional setup or configuration needed. The initial content playback start automatically. A babysitter application hosted in the cloud gets a constant update on all services and will send out alerts if there is a problem.

Credits

Fabrication: Standard Tranmission Productions
Code: Alex Nguyen/Oddlegg
Content: Buck