News / LED Light Pods Unveiled in San Francisco’s Salesforce Plaza

This week’s official opening of the 61-story Salesforce Tower in San Francisco provided the first look at the unique system of LED “digital light pods” located at the base of the building.

The pods, which are integrated into the decking of the plaza at the building’s entrance, were designed and implemented by Sensory Interactive, working in coordination with the building’s architects and landscape architects.

Each of the 12 pods contains an array of 300 LED nodes mounted ten inches below a circular fritted-glass walking surface. The four-foot-diameter, custom-designed glass components have a diffusion layer sandwiched between layers of glass to give the combined LED nodes a smooth, radiant appearance. These non-slip, three-inch-thick glass elements are perfectly flush with the plaza, making them an integral part of the pedestrian environment.

Using a combination of changing colors and subtle video patterns, the pods can present a varied mix of content, and the content management system allows for visuals that respond to the time of day or events taking place in or around the plaza.

In addition to presenting color combinations tailored to holidays, local sports teams, or branded events, the pods will be able to present full-motion video content that suggests clouds in motion, reflections on water, or swaying vegetation.

The pods can also be used to complement content displayed on the large-format LED video walls in the adjacent retail lobby of Salesforce Tower.

The Sensory Interactive team developed the conceptual design for the in-ground fixtures, evaluated potential LED technologies, oversaw the production and testing of a full-size mock-up, documented the final design, and managed the pods’ fabrication, testing, and installation.

To stream 10,800 channels of DMX to the 3,600 fixtures over 21 DMX universes, the system runs video produced by Sensory Interactive designers through a Pharos Video Lighting Controller to generate the DMX signal, which the Sensory Interactive team mapped to the individual Philips Color Kinetics iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes.

Salesforce Plaza is also connected to the Salesforce Transit Center, where Sensory Interactive is currently creating a comprehensive promotional platform and wayfinding program. The Salesforce Transit Center and its rooftop park are scheduled to open this summer.