The idea of the Smoke-Free World Laboratory is brought to life by the use of modern technology

5. 5. 2022 | Marie Herynková

Smoke Free World (SBK) is a unique initiative by Philip Morris, created through collaboration with a local creative team. It features a virtual and travelling laboratory, using state-of-the-art technology and original, bespoke elements to demonstrate the harmfulness of cigarette smoke to visitors, while providing information on smoke-free solutions.


Behind the concept of the laboratory is art director of 3dsense creative studio Josef Lepša, author of many audiovisual installations. He is the one who materialized the idea of the laboratory, where visitors can learn a lot of interesting facts about the harmfulness of smoking. A virtual laboratory has been added, which is also accompanied by a digital figure of the scientist Professor Dohorel. His fictional character is created using motion capture technology, which records the movement of a person’s body and head, including their facial expressions. This footage is transferred to a pre-created digital model, which then comes to life. “The Smoke Free World lab project was very large and atypical in its conception. What made it specific was the interaction of people from a wide range of art, film, design and technology disciplines. We created a physical laboratory where visitors can learn a lot about the issue of smoking harm. A virtual lab has been added, where a digital scientist character describes individual examples in a series of clips. This character is entirely made in a game engine, which means that it is actually an elaborate digital puppet that the actor can control with his movements. At presentations, the animated scientist can have a live conversation with visitors,” says Josef Lepša.

The live conversation with Professor Dohořel is made possible by the unique interactive technology of motion capture live, which was used in the Czech Republic in this way for the first time. The actor Marek Němec has lent his voice to the character, thanks to whom visitors to Zlin Design Week will be able to communicate with Professor Dohořel live on Saturday 7 May from 11 am to 3 pm. The transmission is made possible by eighteen wireless sensors placed on the actor’s body, special gloves and a state-of-the-art camera system using infrared rays that capture wavelengths invisible to the eye.


Studio 3dsense also designed the interior environment of the laboratory, equipped with LCD screens with videos, holographic boxes and digital X-rays that allow visitors to scan individual objects. It is through these technologies that the harmfulness of cigarette smoke is demonstrated to visitors, while also presenting less harmful smoke-free alternatives. Digital X-rays highlight the differences between a tobacco heating device and an electronic cigarette. In turn, by scrolling their screens along the length of the models, it is possible to see how smokeless alternatives work. Smokeless solutions are presented in the lab using separate holoboxes. An object placed behind the display is accompanied by an interactive video to evoke a feeling similar to augmented reality.


The concept of the World Without Smoke laboratory was architecturally developed by the Monument office studio under the direction of Václav Mlynář. “It is unusual for multinational companies such as Philip Morris to give a local creative team such freedom to come up with something new and unusual as they have done in this project,” says Václav Mlynář.

The collaboration of more than a hundred industry professionals has created a unique travelling virtual laboratory. Come and take a look and try out the virtual interactive quiz with the help of 3D glasses. We are looking forward to seeing you throughout the Zlin Design Week on náměstí Míru.