Based on the supplied dimensions of 1140 x 2400 x 450mm, a unit could be constructed to hold a collection of geometric pieces on a vertical playing area. Each shape would be magnetically attached to a steel sheet.
It would be nice to make the game pieces light up.
Battery powered pieces would be tricky, as they would need to be charged daily. It would be better to use trailing leads to three or four pieces, which then pass on low voltage power to neighbouring shapes. This would mean that the individual shapes would light up as they were brought together, encouraging passers by to make patterns.
The depth of the vertical unit wouldn't have to be as deep as shown in the image above. It could probably be about 150mm deep with a base to keep it steady.
The frames of the tangram pieces could be made out of aluminium, or soldered brass angle. There would be sections of white LED strips inside, with an opal acrylic panel to diffuse the light.
The whole unit would be mounted on wheels (with brakes), to allow access to the stock cupboard behind.
The steel plate for the magnets could be decorative - this would help hide any potential scuff marks made by moving the pieces around.
Whatever form the interactive takes, it will no doubt have wheels to allow it to be moved. While considering how best to hide the wheels, it occurred to me that it might be fun to keep them as a feature. A double decker routemaster bus would fit the proportions of the space nicely, particularly if it had a few more storeys added.
The body of the bus could be crafted out of sheet aluminium, and the windows could light up. A 'Simon'-type memory game could be built into the bus, played by pressing the windows as they light up. There would be a grid of either 5x5 or 6x6 windows. The bus would around 1.8m tall max, to allow everyone to be able to reach the top layer of windows.
The score would be shown where the number of the bus route is usually displayed. The all time highest score from previous games could be stored, and an alert could be activated when the record is beaten. This could just be the lights on the bus flashing, or staff in the store could be alerted if the game needed to be tied in with a larger scale promotion of the winners.
When the memory game was not being played, the lights could move in patterns random or otherwise. This will be done in a classy way - i.e. not like a fruit machine.
The bus would be made of beautifully sculpted, pressed and formed sheet aluminium, using similar processes to custom car bodywork as shown below. Any rivets would be discreetly countersunk, rather than "Wallace and Gromit knobbly" style. The aluminium will be sprayed or powder coated upon completion.
A third idea might be to create a simple game on a matrix of glowing panels, although I think ideas 1 and 2 are better as they would be more intuitive and wouldn't need instructions. The video below (not made by me) shows a number of simple games that could potentially be expanded to form a large interactive.
I think that any one of these ideas would make a fascinating interactive showpiece to compliment the new store, although my personal favourite is the bus. Each would be constructed of robust materials, and would require no maintenance other than plugging the unit in and switching it on.
Delivery time would be 5 or 6 weeks from signing off the project.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
After initial feedback, ideas 1 and 2 have been combined to create a Routemaster bus with an interactive tangram puzzle.
Main bus body metalwork to be sprayed RAL 9002 gloss grey white. Game to have light element continuously lit, but some kind of change must occur when interacting with customers.
To add any additional light changing properties to the tangram shapes, all of the pieces will have to be connected with umbilical power/data leads. This would allow the brightness of the shapes to independently fade up and down in patterns when the interactive detects the proximity of a customer. This could be done neatly with white 1/4 inch jack audio cables, a high quality 'rubbery' type so that they hang nicely.
I imagine there will probably be two complete tangram sets, with 14 shapes in total.
A proximity detector will detect when a customer approaches, and the shapes will begin to pulse and flash in pleasing animated patterns, attracting attention and inviting use of the game.
Main bus page
Making of photos
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