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Creating State-of-the-Art AUDIOVISUAL Experiences Surrounding The Statue of Unity

In PALM + AV-ICN's conference session titled 'AV Architect of the Year', Narendra Naidu, Chairman and MD, Rhino Engineers, talks about rendering jaw-dropping audiovisual technology for Gujarat's Statue of Unity and several other projects situated in its periphery.

Last year, at PALM + AV-ICN expo, Narendra Naidu, Chairman and Managing Director, Rhino Engineers, one of the leading AV and media consultancy companies in Gujarat, India, was awarded the AV Architect of the Year. Mr. Naidu is a man of many talents - he renders his services as a visiting professor at SEPT and Nirma University at Ahmedabad. He has been involved with state-of-the art digital multimedia technologies for several State Governments in India and has played an integral part in the introduction of innovative technologies like 3D projection mapping, 3D hologram projection, augmented and virtual reality, RGB façade illumination, aqua screen HD projection, laser shows, light and sound shows, AV charging stations for dams, beaches, rivers, lakes, ponds, statues, and much more. He has also acted as a technical consultant and an oversight auditor for India's mega events such as Vibrant Gujarat, Global Summit, Indo-Japan Event, Textile India, Andhra Pradesh Mega Event, and the Ambaji Temple Fair. In his session titled 'AV Architect of the Year', Narendra Naidu shares insight about working on some of the biggest projects surrounding the Statue of Unity, and how the audiovisual technology plays a key role in promoting night tourism in Gujarat.

Transcending the Boundaries of AV Technology

Although growing at a rapid pace, the AV industry is still at a nascent stage in India. Narendra Naidu talks about how only a handful of people are aware of or appreciate the term 'audiovisual' in all its entirety. Naidu further expresses his optimism about the ever-increasing popularity of the AV industry while crediting Anil Chopra, Founder of CAVS, for founding an educational programme for AV professionals across India. He says, "Very few people in the country know or understand the phrase 'audiovisual'. Anil Chopra is on a mission to change that by starting a new educational programme on the basics of audiovisual industry in India. I am happy to announce that I will be contributing in this mission and see to it that, sooner or later, there will one AV University in the country."

Talking about his company, the expertise he has achieved in the field of AV, and how Rhino Engineers manages to stay ahead of the competition, Naidu shares, "Rhino Engineers has been working as a project management consultancy firm since the last 25 years. We have a vast experience when it comes to creating innovative designs. We are always striving to accomplish three things in the audiovisual industry - to Make In India, to think out-of-the-box, and to create something that has never been created before. We have completed several projects in the field of 3D projection mapping, façade lighting, musical fountains, and smart classrooms. We've rendered consultancy services for the State Government, Central Government, municipal corporations, tourism sectors, temple destinations, universities, and departments such as ASI, RMD, and more."

The Beginning of an AV Revolution in Gujarat:

Recalling how Rhino Engineers was approached by the a subsidiary of the Gujarat State Government to create a slew of audiovisual experiences for visitors visiting the Statue of Unity in order to encourage them to spend the night in the vicinity and grow night tourism in Gujarat, Narendra Naidu shares the idea behind working on the biggest AV project in Gujarat, "After the inauguration of the Statue of Unity, in 2018, the client (Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited) decided that the monument should be a global attraction. In order to do that, the client wanted to turn the surrounding area into a likeliness of Blackpool in the United Kingdom or Las Vegas in the United States of America. In essence, the client, along the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the Prime Minister of India, had the vision to turn the areas surrounding the Statue of Unity into a hotspot of night tourism - which means increasing and retaining footfall for a longer period of time. However, to translate the concept into reality was indeed a difficult task."

Naidu further adds, "Every single day while we worked on the project, we would make new presentations, show them to the authorities and the bureaucrats, acquire their feedback or revisions, and rework on the presentations. The challenges were ample because there are multiple departments with whom we had to coordinate. Plus during monsoon, we were told that we had to complete this project in three months' time. Fortunately, our OEMs and system integrators worked tirelessly to support us in our endeavour."

Talking about the results of his endeavours, Naidu shares, "Rhino Engineers worked on developing multiple tourist attraction spots in the 25 kilometres' vicinity of the Statue of Unity. Post completion, the footfall at and around the Statue of Unity has reached 25,000 per day. During the weekends, the footfall increases to 35,000 per day. On Diwali and numerous other occasions, the footfall crossed the 1,00,000 mark each day. Today, the Statue of Unity and the area surrounding the attraction has garnered such popularity that it is difficult to get the tickets to these attractions unless one looks for the tickets online."

Bringing Tourist Attractions To Life With AV Technology:

Rhino Engineers was tasked with introducing innovative AV technology at 24 sites surrounding the Statue of Unity. Narendra Naidu affirms, "Till now, we have worked on 24 projects around the Statue of Unity, out of which 8 projects are yet to be inaugurated. We have created more than 30 attractions with the use of state-of-the-art audiovisual technology - including India's biggest AV composite system, Narmada Dam lighting, augmented reality within the jungle safari, India's first Glow Garden - you get the gist."

Narendra Naidu shares how Rhino Engineers installed AV equipment at the massive Narmada Dam, "Almost one billion light bulbs have been installed in the Narmada Dam lighting, all of which work on an automated LED system. The lighting installation undertaken by us spanned 10 kilometres long. So, we introduced gantries and 10-kilometre-long strip lights. The dam lighting itself was a humungous task, considering the project measured 1.3 kilometre wide and 130 kilometre long, and it took us 17 days to complete the project with a light and sound show. If anyone in the world thinks that a dam is made to reserve water and distribute it to the surrounding area, they will be proven wrong - because we thought out-of-the-box and converted such a massive surface into a successful light and sound show."

But this is not the end. Addressing several AV projects undertaken by Rhino Engineers, Narendra Naidu talks about how several tourist attractions in the vicinity of the Statue of Unity were brought to life with the help of unique audiovisual technologies, techniques, and equipment: "We have worked on the 'Kamalam', an audiovisual orientation centre, which is based on the origins of the Dragon Fruit. We have also worked on the Maze Garden, a structure that spans 3.5 kilometres. Within the Maze Garden, we have installed LED projections and floor projection to enhance the visitor's experience. Similarly, we have also designed the Miyawaki Forest, where, within a small one or two acres of land, stands a forest. We aim to educate the visitors on how to develop a forest on such a small size of land via audiovisual technology. Another project we contributed to is the Children Nutrition Park, where we have used every possible piece of technology - AR, VR, hologram, 3D projection mapping, floor projection, 5G projection, and many more to create an interactive, immersive experience."

Naidu concludes by talking about a novel concept that Rhino Engineers introduced while enlivening the Valley of Flowers and the Unity Glow Garden with light and sound, "When one enters the Valley of Flowers, which is another audiovisual project surrounding the Statue of Unity, he/she will encounter a 3.5-kilometre-long double sign neon flags' lighting design, a concept that is already popular in Singapore and London, but in India, we have introduced this for the first time, and that too, on a permanent basis. There's also India's first Unity Glow Garden, where everything within - the fountains, the trees, the fruits, the flowers - all of it, made of glowing structures. We also worked on self-illuminated digital signages, which are some of the largest digital signages in India."

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