This is such a classic example of "think big or go home." The Madison Square Garden Sphere being built at the Las Vegas Venetian is going to be a first in many respects and I think it's wonderful that so many big brains get to play on the cutting edge.
The entire project seemed a little overambitious when I first heard about it, but I've seen wilder ideas tried in Vegas. The venue will have a visual exterior that is fully programmable. I love that! Inside, they are building the world's largest LED array that covers 160,000 square feet (the size of three football fields) so you are almost entirely wrapped. That alone is enough to bring on a case of sensory overload.
But the audio features will be amazing, too. Beamform sound will allow you to have the same experience in the front of the house and the back. Plus, audio in two different languages can be played side-by-side with no bleeding of translations. That seems incredible!
From what I could find online, Phillips Research was granted the first patent for audio beamforming technology in 2012. And even before that, the idea had been around but early on it was not easy to put into practice because the array has to be really big in order to control each speaker. Today, the low cost of signal processing chips makes it possible to go gigantic with the experience.
They will also incorporate an infrasound haptic system that uses deep vibrations. I'm guessing that's like your seat shaking while watching a rocket take off in an IMAX theater?
I hope I get to the MSG Sphere when it opens (disclosure, I have a relative who works there!). But it's a bummer that it will not be able to host basketball or hockey games as was originally reported. They will have some sporting events though, probably MMA and boxing. The Sphere will have nine levels and 875,000 square feet of interior space, and the performance arena will seat 18,000.
I wonder who the opening act will be? Maybe Floyd Mayweather Jr. will come out of retirement again! Who has the type of show that would max out all of their systems?