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Olympics showpiece

Gossamer structure

Inflatable 'bubbles'

For visitors

Self-powered with solar

A closer look

Sound below

The team

A team of architects and engineers partnering with Google unveiled on Monday a planned showpiece structure for the London 2012 Olympics called the Cloud. The structure design is a collection of inflatable spheres supported by slender white towers.

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The gossamer structure is meant to be a physical manifestation of the digital cloud. And it would, in fact, be a digital cloud that collects and broadcasts real-time data related to ongoing Olympic events, worldwide news and weather info, and practical city info for visitors. Money to build the Cloud will be raised via sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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The Cloud's "bubbles" are inflatable, transparent, three-dimensional screens laced with LEDs.
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Visitors can ascend to bubble level by walking or biking up a spiral walkway. They would also have access to elevators with regenerative braking.
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The Cloud would be self-powered with photovoltaic panels.
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From within the main tower, visitors would have a closer look at the bubbles broadcasting ongoing events in real time. They could also look down on the city and the Olympic events taking place in buildings below.
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While the images on the bubble screens would float high above the spectators, the sound would be broadcast at ground level.
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The Cloud's extensive team includes Tomas Saraceno, artist; Alex Haw, digital designer; Joerg Schleich, lightweight-structures expert; Arup; Agence Ter; Studio FM; Google; GMJ Design; and a group from MIT's Senseable City Laboratory. The MIT Senseable City Laboratory team led by Carlo Ratti, includes Assaf Biderman, Mauro Martino, E Roon Kang, Walter Nicolino and Giovanni de Niederhausern. The author Umberto Eco is an adviser.
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