Quorumetrix in collaboration with: StudioStudio


Introducing VOXEL

Our response to the creative challenge from the Quartier des Spectacles Montréal: Data visualization for public spaces.

VOXEL is a physical volumetric display for visualizing data in public. Animations and data visualizations are presented as controlled beams of light, creating a holographic appearance, which interacts with its visitors through motion-capture devices at the scene. 

This project wasn't the winning entry, so we are excited about any opportunity to create this and display it publicly. 


Below you will find several videos explaining the data processing steps we envisioned, as well as a simulation of how the STM and Bixi visualization would have appeared.

Example data processing for visualization

We’ll start using the example of the STM timetable of stops. In this video, each frame represents one minute in real time, and each of these three plots looks at the same data in a slightly different way. On the left we see each bus stop plotted at its time and location on the island of Montreal.


To the right, we’ve processed this data further to create a heatmap, where the lighter-yellow hexagons relate to a higher density of stops. However, for the voxel, we want to show this data in 3 dimensions, so the image below shows a heatmap that’s been projected into 3D.

Simulation of data visualization on VOXEL 

This is how the wiremap will look in situ. The passage of time is represented by the motion of points of light on the ground. From a distance we can see pulsating light that represents the pulse of Montreal. As we get closer, we see the outline of the island of montreal with the heatmap of stm data presented above it. We can then add a second set of data onto the same axes - in this case: Bixi origin destination data.


The voxel is interactive, and motion detectors will capture the speed of movement within the voxel, and the speed that time passes will speed up accordingly. On the contrary, if the observers stand perfectly still, time will stop and let them observe the data up close, frozen in time. As the observers move on and the voxel empties, the pulse of Montreal returns to welcome the next round of visitors.