StratoSphere: Have a Ball!

Everything's big in Texas, right? So it should be no surprise that StratoSphere - a six-story-high translucent/transparent fabric projection balloon (just the thing for getting attention in the parking lot at Comdex) - comes out of suburban Houston. Absolute Hollywood, of Cypress, Texas, will bring one of these babies to your meeting or event and project video, gobo images, or pretty much whatever you want on the outside or the inside. "We make them with reflective surfaces, so you can project on the outside, or with a combination of translucent and transparent surfaces, so you can project from the inside to the outside and get this kind of soap-bubble effect," says James Lanier ("Call me director, I guess. We don't go for titles here.")

If you want more functionality than "hey-look-at-this," you can also order a StratoSphere with a revolving door in the base, so it can be used as a VIP lounge. In fact, says Lanier, you can order just about any kind of custom variation you'd like. In addition to the 200-foot-tall ones, Absolute Hollywood will make them as small as 30 feet in diameter; they'll make them without bases so they'll fit inside an exhibit hall; they'll supply climate control for outdoor use in cold climates (Dallas-based Yahoo! used one of these in late November in Montreal); and they'll even provide a custom outside cover.

Lanier recently created one for a corporate event that looked like a giant golf ball - attendees went inside to see a show projected on the inside walls. The cover kept out light, so the projection could be seen during daylight. The StratoSphere not only works in the cold, but in wind. It's been tested with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.

There are many more tricks in the Absolute Hollywood bag, according to Lanier, who is working on a set of smaller StratoSpheres for 180-degree projection of 3D images. To have a 200-foot StratoSphere brought to your event and set up for your needs costs about $20,000 in North America, says Lanier. To learn more, call him at (281) 379-1212 or visit

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For more information visit the TeleAdapt Web site, write, or call (877) 835-3232 (toll-free) or (408) 965-1400.