Adidas NMD Cubes

Adidas / Your Majesty

In March 2016, Adidas Originals launched the NMD, one of their most important collections to date.

Nine spectacular installations were placed on the streets of nine major European cities: Stockholm, London, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Milan and Barcelona. 

The interactive LED cubes were connected to various webcam and social media feeds, allowing Adidas fans across Europe to respond to each other in real-time.

In order to realise this project, we wrote a custom sequencer in Unreal Engine that allowed us to play 3 different types of content on every individual side of the cube. Different types of content included:

- Live stream from a different cube in Europe
- Instagram feed with the latest user uploaded images containing the #NMD hashtag
- Predefined video content (over 15 videos)

The content also had to be displayed as a single spread over all sides. Therefore the cube had to support over 1419857 different combinations of sequences and two different output resolutions.

Traditional media players can’t do this on the fly. Our software renders any sequence combination at any time based on a set of pre-configured application settings. Next to the amount of possible sequence combinations, the content had to change based on the latest Instagram data or live feed.

The application can render the Instagram feed to textures on the graphics processor with zero latency and display the results immediately. Video playback was handled completely threaded, allowing us to pre-load movies that were about to play and display the result immediately on content switch. The live feed was accomplished using a custom webcam driver that streamed in the feed from the camera somewhere in Europe. The feed and Instagram selection depended on the input users provided through a specially developed web application by Your Majesty. We pulled the results from a server and used it to let the application determine what to draw next.

The result: thirty-six 3m2 LED screens that were simultaniously on display in nine different cities, 24 hours a day for 7 days straight, with a constant framerate of 60 FPS. After the succes of the first week, the project was extended to three more cities for another 7 days.