The Aquarium of the Pacific, located near the waterfront in Long Beach, Calif., recently opened its “aquarium of the future,” called Pacific Visions, which features a breathtaking immersive theatre, multiple interactive art installations, and hands-on multimedia displays. Key to making the immersive component of the 300- capacity theatre work is perfectly positioned sound provided by Renkus-Heinz.

The main challenge at The Aquarium of the Pacific was in the complexity of the ask: bring immersiveness to a space using audio. This is a growing demand in the AV space, and it is an opportunity which Renkus-Heinz is particularly suited to help integrators and end users fully realise.

Brian Edwards, Owner of Edwards Technologies, the integration firm that designed and installed the theatre’s AV and FX system at Aquarium of the Pacific, says the project is an example of the future of both the AV industry and of storytelling as a whole.

“To create something that truly impresses people today you can’t install just one thing,” Brian said. “You need to understand the enabling technologies at play. You have to look at it from an IoT (Internet of Things) and network level, and you need to understand how the visual and audio components work together to create the memories people take with them when they leave the space.”

One critical component to achieving that experience, Brian said, is the sound. To provide an immersive audio experience, the theatre installation features multiple Renkus-Heinz products – including 29 loudspeakers from the company’s cutting-edge ICLive X Series.

The ICLive X is Renkus-Heinz’ flexible and scalable solution for precision positioning of sound. The high-output, digitally steerable arrays can be arranged into combinations up to 12 cabinets tall and feature RHAON II beam-steering and control.

The installation also features nine Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers from the company’s C Series. The result is sound placed where it belongs: on the audience.

Brian said he approaches all of his installations with the idea that stories – and the way they are told – are crucial to the human experience. A well told story, he said, spreads an idea, entertains, and inspires. For the Aquarium of the Pacific, the goal is to engage with visitors in a way that immerses them within the vision of a future where humanity has used innovation to address pressing environmental concerns.

Thanks to the combination of leading technologies that consider all senses – from sight to sound – those who attend a showing in the theatre leave with more than just textbook knowledge of what the future for our planet could be. Rather, they exit with an experience of what our future might look, sound and feel like.

“Telling stories today requires the use of tomorrow’s tools and Renkus-Heinz is right at the forefront of that,” Brian said. “What you see at the aquarium is the application of tomorrow’s tools. Everyone is really happy with the result, and more than that, I believe this is the trend for AV and storytelling. This is where we’re going with technology, and everyone needs to be looking at it to see, and hear, how it can be done the right way.”