Sep 30, 2010

Coffee and helicopters

2 min read

The city of São Paulo is the largest city of the southern hemisphere, and by extension, one of the world’s most important cities. São Paulo and the eponymous state it is the capital of, is at the forefront of Brazil’s most important past, present and future episodes.

Black and virtual gold

While São Paulo was founded in 1554, its rise to global prominence is fairly recent. It coincides with the boom in coffee trade in the area in the late 19th century, when it received a large influx of Southern European immigrants. Later, sugar and alcohol and heavy industries followed, with a late 20th century shift to a service-oriented economy.

Intertwined with its highly developed economy, the city also features many universities. São Paulo’s growth, which coincides with Brazil’s rise on the global stage, will undoubtedly be fueled by its educational institutes. Best known, perhaps, is the University of São Paulo (USP). For geophysical and oil and gas-related research projects, the USP features a full 3D display setup designed by Barco, with the latest collaboration software.

In high spirits

São Paulo is home to the largest fleet of private helicopters in the world. Some 70,000 flights per year take mostly businesspeople to various parts of the metropolitan area quickly and efficiently. Barco’s involvement with the city starts there. At CETESB, the São Paulo state office that monitors the area’s air quality, a large Barco display wall is crucial in bringing together all relevant pollution data for analysts, which allows them to take the right, environmentally necessary actions.

Invisible signals

With the criss-cross of helicopters roving the skies, the familiar skyline of the city and a smattering of clouds, it’s easy to forget that the skies of cities of this size also feature a constant, invisible flurry of electronic signals. There is also seen the rise of mobile telecommunication, which accounts for a significant portion of radio traffic among the waves as well. Vivo, the country’s largest player in this market, has its headquarters in São Paulo. To manage and monitor its ever-expanding network, Vivo makes use of a display wall consisting of an impressive 28 cubes with a 67” diameter.

Avenues to entertainment

São Paulo is also famous for its high-level gastronomy, exuberant nightlife and iconic events. From carnival, high-profile fashion to forward-thinking electronic arts festivals, the city offers a calendar chock-full of entertainment. Notably, São Paulo prides itself on having hosted Brazil’s first theater performance, in the 16th century. This tradition of avant garde continues today, with around 100 screens in the city that have made the transition to digital cinema projection in just a few years. Their transition to Barco’s digital cinema technology was overseen by Cinemark, Brazil’s largest player in that field.