Want to be a forest ranger? Head to the Singapore ArtScience Museum
A new permanent exhibition at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore will put the reality back into augmented reality. Into The Wild will have visitors wandering through the basement level of the museum, with a smartphone in hand, as a Sumatran rainforest comes alive on the screen.
Taking on the role of a forest ranger, they complete challenges to be able to plant a virtual seed. It will then grow into a tree on the fourth level of the museum. To top off the experience, at the end of the exhibition, they can choose to have an actual tree planted in their name in the Sumatran rainforest and even track its growth.
The exhibition is a culmination of almost two years of planning and work by the museum, together with partners Google, Lenovo and WWF. “I think it’s a nice time for this type of experience to land in Singapore because so many people would have experienced augmented reality and virtual reality using Pokemon Go,” says Honor Harger, the museum’s executive director.
“This is like the next level – it shows what you can do when you’re working with incredibly creative teams and location-specific work. It takes it up a notch.” This is the museum’s first exhibition utilizing augmented reality technology on this scale. Visitors to the exhibition will be given a Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphone and headphones. The smartphone uses its camera and Google’s Tango technology to bring to life in 360 degrees the Sumatran rainforest on its screen. It is also the world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone.
Tango technology is similar to GPS, but for indoor spaces. It has area learning, depth sensing and motion-tracking capabilities. For example, it can detect which level of the building visitors are on or if there are walls and furniture around them.
In the 1,000sq m basement level of the museum, visitors using the headphones provided can get close to five animals that can be found in the Sumatran rainforest – the tapir, Sumatran tiger, pangolin, mousedeer and orang utan – and hear them and other elements of the rainforest, such as birds and waterfalls. Through simple challenges, such as freeing a trapped mousedeer, they can learn about issues such as which species are endangered and the effects of environmental degradation.
The exhibition experience ends with a six-minute film with similar themes by Singapore artist Brian Gothong Tan, 36, who was inspired by the detailed murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera. The film is narrated based on the words of Alfred Russel Wallace, a British naturalist working in the Malay Archipelago in the 19th century.
Projected on an 18m-by-22m sloping wall, it requires the use of “proprietary solutions which include spanning and blending nine projectors to create one seamless image”, says Tan.
Source :The Jakarta Post