Northland Shopping Centre in Melbourne, Victoria is getting into the spirit of Christmas with an interactive displaying simulating the Northern Lights through smartphone technology.

The Colonial First State-owned property has been lit up in blue, green and purple hues to replicate the aurora borealis, a natural phenomenon that occurs in December in parts of Alaska, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia.
Based on imLive technology, developed by creative digital firm tkm9, the Northland Lights display can be controlled by shoppers on their smartphone. This technology enables users to change the colour of the ‘sky’, lights, swirls and even add snow.

According to tkm9 CEO, Mark Hodgens, the technology behind the Northland Lights provides consumers with a rich, interactive experience through social and mobile experiences.

“We noticed a gap in the market where consumers wanted a much deeper and connected interaction within retail and digital signage, so we partnered with market leaders Microsoft, Intel, Vodafone and NetComm to deliver that,” he said.

A large scale, augmented reality display has also been installed to allow shoppers to ‘become’ Christmas elf by standing in front of the interactive screen, where they will see hats, ears, bow ties and other props virtually attached to their bodies.

The displays have been launched in celebration of the opening of Northland’s $15 million entertainment and lifestyle precinct where six new retailers are set to open over the summer. Anchored by a 2,000 square metre Good Life Health Club gym and childcare facility, the open air precinct will be home to food retailers including Ribs & Rumps, Movenpick, Grill’d, Pappa Rich and Momoco Sushi.

Northland Shopping Centre is the largest single-level shopping centre in Melbourne. Located approximately 11 km north of Melbourne’s CBD, Northland has over 320 stores including the only Myer in the area, and 4,800 free car parks.