Crayola Experience Center Brings Drawings to Life

GestureTek_Apex-Award_Entertainment_Crayola-Experience_Image-1-web-0714Crayon manufacturer Crayola looked to create an experience called Art Alive! at its Crayola Experience Center that allowed users to draw a picture on an iPad, pick an effect for the picture and then project it to a nearby wall in real time. Users could then step up and interact with their pictures via gesture.

GestureTek created Art Alive!, a permanent installation at the new Crayola Experience family entertainment center. The project’s main objectives were to:

  1. Give families a positive impression of Crayola
  2. Increase brand awareness of the new product “DigiTools App” and encourage kids to use it

GestureTek wanted to bring visitors’ digital art to life to enhance their time spent at the Crayola Experience. The company created four custom worlds — underwater, space, fairytale and safari — that are projected onto four giant 16-foot-by-9-foot screens. At 40 iPad stations, kids can color and draw an image, choose an enhancing effect for it and send it to one of the four worlds.

Once on the big screen, the kids can interact with their designs by moving their full body in front of the screen. The on-screen reactions include making the water ripple, plants part, clouds move and animals wiggle, which is hours of fun for the visitors.


GestureTek_Apex-Award_Entertainment_Crayola-Experience_Image-2-web-0714GestureTek’s main challenges were developing a concept that would highlight Crayola’s DigiTools App and also integrate it into a gesture-controlled system. The company’s gesture-controlled GestureFX system was not originally designed to take in and display new content while it was up and interactive.

Due to this, the company had to create a new gesture-controlled graphic engine that allowed real-time wireless input of additional interactive elements from mobile devices while the application was up and running. Such a system had never been built before, according to the company.

In addition, GestureTek also needed to allow users to assign their desired effect to their drawings, and then send their pictures to the appropriate “world” (screen), which was complex.


GestureTek wrote new software to accept real-time input from wireless devices into the code of a running application. The team also created a control network manager to help send the right images of media components and the code for their associated interactive effect (shrink, breakup, spin, etc.) to the right worlds. This also allowed for an external approval station and external re-launch station for kids to send their images back to the projection to play with again.


According to Crayola, the former Crayola Factory operated in the red, and the revamped center with the Art Alive! attraction is expected to excel draw an additional 150,000 people a year into Easton. The Art Alive! exhibit was designed to allow 40 users to be engaged at the same time. It has successfully highlighted how great Crayola’s DigiTools App is by bringing art to life and getting kids to interact with their own art, according to the company.

This case study is reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here.