Spectrum dining, also known as 5D dining, is a unique dining experience. Instead of just using your taste, smell, and sight during your meal, a restaurant uses 5D experiences and incorporates all of the five senses. The experience will transport you into other worlds while you enjoy delicious food and drinks. One restaurant that we have worked with over the years to create such an experience is The X Pot at their Las Vegas and Chicago locations.
X Pot Las Vegas - Spectrum Dining
What does it take to put together a spectrum dining experience?
Simply put, immersive technology in a restaurant creates a unique dining experience that takes the traditional restaurant and adds elements to engage guests with more than just the food. Some of the most common types are themed restaurants, like Rainforest Cafe, where you dine amongst animatronic animals and thunderstorms, or Medieval Times, where you eat roast chicken with your hands and watch as knights ride around on horseback. But, immersive dining has become more attainable and less gimmicky as technology advances. Now, unique dining shows leverage tech like projection mapping, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and 5D dining.
Restaurants like The X Pot are adding new meaning to dining out by coupling it with immersive technology to create a 5D experience. To give you a more in-depth understanding, we will look to explore our project with The X Pot at their Las Vegas and Chicago restaurants.
Projection Mapped Table and Room at The X Pot Restaurant, Las Vegas
Starting with the most obvious taste. This sense is what’s expected when you go to dine, so ensuring the taste of the food aligns with the experience that is being provided for guests is crucial to creating such a memorable meal. Although you might be able to get away with wowing guests with the visuals, sounds, and smells, the taste of the food is what gets customers coming back.
We recommend making the food the star of the show, which means creating a spectrum experience around what is offered. Looking at The X POT, their Asian dishes with American influences set the tone for their 5D dining.
Meal Artistry at the X Pot Restaurant, Las Vegas
Sight is one of the most, if not the most, important elements of a 5D experience- plus, it’s the best way to get really creative. Leveraging technology like projection mapping and AR/VR content elevates your guest's experience through visuals that captivate and transport guests.
The X Pot team came to us with a vision: a restaurant that is totally immersive, and with that, we began our work. The first step was to audit the restaurant and identify the available projection locations. Luckily, X Pot had a dedicated room that was designed to facilitate the technology already; however, it needed modifications.
Creating an entire dining room with projections on every surface required bespoke technology, custom-made hardware, and a whole lot of creative problem-solving. The entire project used ten Optima 660 projectors and a custom-built projection server that projected the content we created for The X Pot.
River Cruise Scene for The X Pot by Lumen & Forge
Our team designed and fabricated multiple apparatuses for the dining room, including a tabletop with a custom-fabricated projection surface. The tabletop used a 14 gauge aluminum with a gray powder coat, making it a consistent and lightweight surface that is easily removable for cleaning. Embedded in the table were four “hot areas” to keep food warm without sacrificing the seamlessness of the vibrant projections.
After our installation of the dining room, we worked with the X Pot team to add immersive elements around the restaurant. The wall behind the bar was used as a projection space that brought lively videos to the bustling dining area. While a phoenix statue at the center of the restaurant was brought to life with stunning projection visuals. Adding little pops of immersion can make a restaurant’s atmosphere lively and engaging.
Custom Dessert Scene for The X Pot by Lumen & Forge
5D Dining at The X Pot
Our team built, installed, and produced content for The X Pot, incorporating HD 360-degree projections, thematic soundscapes, and interactive light shows, encompassing all of the senses. Producing the experience required immense customization and turnkey solutions. Our team was involved in every aspect of constructing the experience, from fabrication, electrical, and installation to tech support.
Creating an immersive restaurant for X Pot required immense customization and turnkey solutions, and we were involved every step of the way. So let’s dive into what it takes to make a spectrum dining experience. We’ve broken down each of the five senses with examples from The X Pot that will surely intrigue and inspire.
Projection Mapped Table at The X Pot Restaurant, Las Vegas
Sound elements also play a key role in creating spectacular dining. The right soundscape can transport diners to another world, immersing them in the setting of the meal and enhancing the flavors of the food. While there are many ways to create an immersive soundscape, one popular option is to use binaural audio. Binaural audio recordings are made with two microphones placed close together, simulating how our ears pick up sound. When played back through headphones, binaural audio creates a realistic three-dimensional soundscape that can make diners feel as if they are right in the middle of the action. Whether it's the sound of waves crashing on a beach or the chatter of a busy marketplace, binaural audio can help to create an immersive and unforgettable 5D dining experience.
For the sounds created for The X Pot, our team created a blend of custom scoring and sound effects to accentuate and assist in bringing the scenes to life. Most of the audio work was done post-completion of the video projections in order to provide a truly custom and captivating experience. All soundscapes were created in Ableton. To tie in with the overall theme of the restaurant, Ryan, our sound engineer, commented. “I utilized some Asian instruments and also energetically matched the flow and feel of both the individual scenes and the overall experience.”
Projection Mapped Accents at The X Pot Restaurant, Las Vegas
While taste, sight, and sound are typically the most important elements in creating an immersive atmosphere, scent can also play a key role. The right scent can help to set the mood, transport diners to another time and place, and enhance the flavors of the food. Each dish in a well-designed spectrum restaurant will be paired with a complimentary scent that enhances the overall dining experience. The X Pot uses the scent of the food to add to the immersion. Mouthwatering spices, meats, and vegetables engulf you during your meal, feeling like you are sitting in an Asian market.
Steaming Food Presentation at The X Pot Restaurant, Chicago
5. Touch / Feel
Finally, touch is the last sense in the immersive restaurant. Although it’s not the show's star, it plays an important role. The warmth of a plate or the coldness of a drink can be used to immerse guests in their meals further. Using different textures of plates, like a smooth bowl in an underwater theme or a coarse ceramic mug in a forest theme, is a small detail that can go a long way.
Custom Animated Underwater Fantasy Scene for the X Pot 5D Room
Incorporating the five senses to create a unique and memorable experience for your guests will make any restaurant stand out, especially when coupled with immersive technology. The X Pot has created an immersive experience with their dining that is sought out by many. We would love to work with you to create a restaurant experience for your guests that is truly unique to you. Contact us today!