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A giant lit-up orb in the middle of the American desert probably isn’t an expected sight. But then again, neither is the Eiffel Tower. Or Elvis.
This past July, a huge LED sphere located in Las Vegas, Nevada, took the internet by storm. The MSG Sphere (its official name) is 112 meters tall (366 feet), and it’s covered in 112 million LEDs. That’s like if a TV were spherical. Instead of these lights being used to make the orb look like a disco ball or something else normal, some other weird images have been displayed across its surface. Like a video of a moving, blinking eyeball.
After being under construction for nearly five years, the Sphere is actually a concert venue that’s part of the nearby Venetian Resort, a giant casino and hotel. The outside is programmable, allowing it to be used to display fun light shows and images of the American flag, the moon, fireworks and … eyeballs.
"The exosphere is more than a screen or a billboard. It is living architecture, and unlike anything that exists anywhere in the world," said Guy Barnett, senior vice president of brand strategy and creative development for the project. "[The] show provided a glimpse of the exosphere's captivating power and the possibilities for artists, partners and brands to create compelling and impactful stories to connect with audiences in new ways.”
It hasn’t been used for any cool shows just yet, but it’s eventually supposed to host over 18,000 guests for a single event. The inside also features a wraparound screen and over 160,000 speakers. In September, U2 is set to play a series of sold-out concerts in the Sphere. And a month later, a Darren Aronofsky-created experience called “Postcard from Earth” is scheduled to open in the space.
The Sphere team says, “We’re setting the stage for future Sphere Experiences featuring 22nd century technology and the world’s most talented creatives.”
On Tuesday, execs teased more news about the Sphere, saying it was on track to open September 29, with the U2 concert, and the “Sphere Experience” would roll out on October 6, with the first part taking audiences on a journey through the history of technology – complete with animatronic robots, holographs and a huge translucent video wall. When all is said and done, the project is expected to have cost US$2.3 billion.