Icelandic inspiration: how AV is supporting a booming tourism industry

Iceland is home to many natural wonders. Known as the "Land of Ice and Fire," it features extraordinary landscapes encompassing glaciers and volcanos. With mountain ranges, dramatic waterfalls and geothermal pools, Iceland offers an abundance of natural phenomena, as well as being one of the best places to see the breath-taking northern lights. The dramatic landscape is intertwined with the rich history of settlers who cultivated the land and thrived on an island in the middle of the north Atlantic Ocean.

It’s no wonder then that tourism is Iceland's largest export, accounting for more than 33% of the country's GDP making it one of the most tourism dependent countries in the world.

Sharp/NEC’s Director of Sales for Leisure and Entertainment, Jonathan Cooper, recently accompanied the company’s long-term integration partner for Iceland, Origo, on a tour of several key visitor attractions in Iceland.

In a country where tourism is so important, the leading visitor attractions have embraced the power of technology, utilising the latest audio-visual tools to immerse and enthral for greatest effect.

Be inspired for your own Icelandic adventure!


Thingvellir National Park

Þingvellir, which means assembly plains, is the site where the old assembly, or Alþing, used to gather from 930 – 1798 AD. The national park is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its parliamentary history, connection with 12th century saga writing, and the independence movement of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Thingvellir National Park is also a natural wonder where the geology and ecosystem forms a unique landscape. At Þingvellir, evidence of the separation of tectonic plates is visible in the rift valley formed by the Almannagjá fault in the west and Hrafnagjá in the east.

An award-winning interactive exhibition uses Sharp/NEC displays and projectors to provide the visual interface enabling visitors to become part of the national park. The interactive exhibit is designed by Iceland’s leading experience design studio, Gagarin, and installed by Origo.

In the reception area of the recently built visitor centre, a ceiling mounted NEC projector projects vertically to visually present the old assembly site, the national park´s most visited area. Here all visitors can easily obtain information about the various sites through text, images, and video.

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As visitors continue their journey, several touch-enabled NEC large format displays give further opportunities to learn more about this unique site. Two table mounted displays, for instance, separated by a red line depict the magma flow between tectonic plates.

The use of Sharp/NEC technology enables the national park to spark a visual link to a hidden history. A vertical projection shows how 36 Chieftains and their supporters gathered at the law court (Lögrétta). Travelling a timeline through Iceland´s foreign rule gives visitors a unique visualisation of a long and complex history.

A vertical NEC projector shows lake Þingvallavatn, Iceland´s largest natural lake. By interacting with the exhibit guests can learn about the lake’s rich and diverse biology.

Visit Thingvellir

Renewable power exhibitions

Iceland is abundant with geothermal and hydroelectric power sources enabling virtually all the country’s electricity needs to be met through renewables. Interactive visitor attractions are playing a leading role in educating the public about how critical these power sources are in protecting the planet. Iceland aims for carbon neutrality by 2040.

At the Ljosafoss Power Station, a ‘Powering the Future’ exhibition, designed by Gagarin, allows visitors to experience the nature and characteristics of electricity in new and creative ways. They are introduced to renewable and sustainable energy generation methods through LED videowalls and projection exhibits.

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Hellisheidi is one of the world’s biggest geothermal power plants generating 303MW of electricity. The Geothermal exhibition is a top visitor attraction featuring various NEC branded projectors.

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Iceland’s number one visitor attraction, awarded Best of the Best 2022 by Trip Advisor, Perlan presents the many ‘Wonders of Iceland’. Interactive experiences mixed with captivating information and stories make Perlan’s exhibits both fun and educational. Laser projection is used to great effect throughout benefiting from its scalable image size, high brightness, and ability to project onto any surface. NEC PX laser projectors are used in several exhibits.

Visit Perlan

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Business Iceland

Business Iceland is a public-private partnership established to lead the promotion and marketing of Iceland in foreign markets and stimulate economic growth through increased export. Whilst tourism is undoubtedly a major export, Business Iceland promotes 5 other sectors where the country excels: green energy solutions, innovation, creative industries, fisheries, and food products.

A vast projection wall using 4 edge blended NEC PA1004UL projectors with ultra-short throw lenses offers visitors an immersive interactive experience at the ‘Green Future’ exhibition, designed by Gagarin. Two further NEC PA1004UL projectors are used in the Business Iceland space as well as a number of large NEC large format displays in the meeting spaces.

Visit Business Iceland

Origo is a leading Nordic IT service company with over 50 years’ experience in developing and operating IT/AV systems in Iceland. Sharp/NEC is proud to be Origo’s leading Display brand with a long track record in delivering and supporting many and varied installations across multiple sectors. Origo recently installed a 135inch NEC E Series dvLED videowall at its headquarters in Reykjavik.

“The Sharp/NEC LED offering is a benchmark for quality yet represents excellent value for money. As Sharp/NEC’s trusted integration partner we are fully supported every step of the way. This means we are entirely qualified to deliver the best possible experience to the end user.” Knútur Runarsson, Manager of A/V solutions at Origo hf.

Photography courtesy of Jonathan Cooper