Nippon Moon will combine the familiar design of an observation wheel with a network of virtual interfaces that will allow visitors to create their own augmented realities.
After downloading a dedicated Nippon Moon app for smartphones and tablets, users will be able to purchase their tickets online and choose the time of their ride. They will also be able to select a theme for their experience, as each of the single and double-decker capsules on the wheel will focus on a different theme. After entering the visitor centre, guests would be greeted by a 'Hall of Fame', a dynamic installation of digital photographs taken by visitors during their ride. These photographs can be uploaded instantly to the Hall of Fame during the ride and discovered on display in the installation upon leaving.
During the ride, accessible software makes it possible to communicate with people in the other capsules and you can also choose additional animations or sounds to accompany your trip. The app also allows visitors to switch from reality to digitally altered views from the capsules, which are created through augmented reality techniques in the transparent skin of the capsules. UNStudio believes that the interactivity promoted on Nippon Moon will result in a more active, as opposed to passive visitor.
UNStudio is working alongside user-experience designers Experientia to develop the interactive aspects of the project, while engineers Arup and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are collaborating on the technical specifications.
Since the completion of the London Eye in 2000, observation wheels have been proposed for various cities around the world. The Singapore Flyer became the tallest in 2008, taking over from the Star of Nanchang in China, while others are proposed for New York, Dubai and Las Vegas.