Black Box VR, a pioneer in virtual reality fitness, has been named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree AND Best Startup 2018 for its innovative resistance-based virtual reality fitness experience. The Black Box VR studio has developed the world’s first fully automated cable resistance machine that integrates virtual reality hardware and original virtual eSport software powered by HTC Vive.

Download the Black Box VR CES 2018 Case Study


Black Box VR first approached us for advice on how to build out a portable room to house a beta version of their VR work-out machine. The idea was to create a room (box) that would house their automated cable resistance machine. The original goal was to use the box at local events and for inline trade show configurations. Early on, we identified a line-of-site regulation conflict for the regional and national venues. In general, exhibitors are not allowed to place items or structures taller than 4 feet in the front half of their linear booth space. This regulation is in place primarily so exhibitors aren’t obstructing the views of each other’s space.

As the Client considered their show schedule and the possibility of increasing their booth size, we started drawing an exhibit that would be portable, affordable and most importantly structural. Soon after we designed the box, the Client informed us that they were going to take a stab at CES and increase their size to a 20×20 island configuration. This would turn out to be a very smart move on their part, as they took several awards at the show. With an increased budget and floor plan, TideLine Design, Inc. set out designing an exhibit worthy of debuting our local Boise, Idaho start-up to the world, at the largest consumer electronic show.


Our first goal was to build out a frame system that would be portable, light-weight, yet structural enough to support the weight of someone possibly running into the wall. Our concern was that if someone became disoriented from the VR goggles or simply fell from working out, we didn’t want them crashing through the wall taking down the exhibit with them. The problem with many modular trade show walls is that structurally they aren’t designed to withstand the weight of a human bumping into them, let-alone falling into. So, we constructed the walls utilizing our light-weight, yet highly structural rental frame system (in this case a purchase). By building the exhibit with interlocking frames, we were able to accomplish all the Client’s needs.
Our frame system is completely scalable to different booth configurations. This appealed to Black Box, as they anticipated moving into larger spaces, as the popularity of their product and technology grew.

Armed with a foundation and general booth layout, the rest was aesthetics and fun.  In this case, the Client had great creative instincts making a lot of our decor decisions easy. Keeping true to their brand, we chose a black hardwood vinyl flooring that has the look of real paneled hardwood, but rolls like one would expect from a vinyl floor. The proprietary padding under the vinyl is ridged enough to stabilize the pliable vinyl, yet soft enough to be stood on for countless tradeshow hours by the staff.
We decided to skin the entire exterior of the wall system with dye sublimated digitally printed fabric graphics. The Client provided us with high resolution graphics to our specifications, which ultimately gave the booth its vibrant look allowing this exhibit to stand out above the rest. Another benefit of the frame system we have, is the ability to skin the system with both SEG fabric and / or inset ridged graphic xpanels. This allowed us to have the fabric outside and ridged black sintra panels for the inside of the work out room for stability.

To balance the environment we had the riggers hang our overhead hanging sign lower near the top of our walls. This allowed the sign to feel intentional and as part of the booth space and not disjointed and as an after thought. By increasing the height of the sign, we were still able to get the visibility needed for distant identification of their booth space.

Black Box really challenged our creative abilities, by presenting us with lofty lighting criteria for the space. They were adamant about having cutting-edge lighting.  The issue was balancing the lighting goals with the budget. Lighting is an essential for good exhibit design.  However, it can be expensive as well. Up for the challenge, we put together several creative lighting solutions that would allow for a modern feel utilizing RGB LED programmable lights. By placing low-watt led lighting in the corners of the work out room, we could light the space without overwhelming it with harsh traditional lighting. Taking things a step further, we created a soffit that included a RGB LED light strip around the entire perimeter of the exhibit. Incorporating puck lights into the custom header helped ground the canopy while also lighting our wall graphics.