Nespresso created a Pop-Up Boutique in New York City’s historical Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, inviting travelers to try out a variety of flavors. Helios, along with partners at Obscura Digital, Basenji, and Mas Event + Design created the ‘What Grand Cru Are You?’ digital interactive installation. Using a sleek, stylish, larger-than-life seventeen-foot multitouch screen, customers would answer a variety of lifestyle questions in order to determine which Nespresso flavor was best suited to their personality. The installation was recently awarded for “Best Use of Technology” by Event Marketer.


Client: Nespresso
Partners: MAS Event + Design, Obscura Digital, Basenji
Launched: October 2013
Event Duration: 4 days
Awards: “Best Use of Technology” by Event Marketer
Project Video Music: “Work” by The Junior Boys

UI Design: Helios Interactive
Front End Development: Basenji
Technology Integration: Helios Interactive



Nespresso at Grand Central is a story of short deadlines, unknown technology hardware, and a willingness to get things done. We were approached by Obscura Digital to produce content for their Rockwall hardware only weeks before launch. Obscura had done content before in Adobe Air and Flash but never in Unity3D or c++. Helios wrote a Unity3D wrapper to handle blending the edges of the projectors in our front-end software and determine user interactive zones. The other piece of the puzzle was using Obscura’s propriety touch protocol which resembled a TCP stream of comma separate values for all the touch points and their states. The recommendation engine for flavors was carefully scrutinized as we worked closely with the Nespresso brand team to determine user’s unique flavors with the minimum amount of lifestyle questions. On top of all this was the challenge to design an elegant and intuitive UI for everyday visitors at Grand Central that complemented the aesthetic of the Nespresso brand.


Hardware: 3 x projectors, 3 x IR cameras
Software: Obscura Digital Rock Wall matrix tiling solution, Unity 3D, Maya
Screen: 18′ glass with rear projection material and laser grid (for touch detection)

Project Development: 4-5 weeks