Visitor tracking, augmented reality and 3D printing are among the cutting-edge technologies TEQ4 has used to turn a collection of artifacts from indigenous peoples of the Americas into a unique interactive and immersive educational attraction.
TEQ4 has brought together multiple technologies – old and new – to tell the story of Native peoples and cultures of North, Central and South America through the 4,000 artifacts that make up the collection at the Kravis Discovery Center in Oklahoma.
The new attraction – The Interactive Discovery Trail – uses 3D soundscapes, innovative display solutions and TEQ4’s own Chaperone™ system to bring the culturally significant objects to life, giving visitors a rare insight into the lives of the people who created and used them.
CEO of TEQ4, Martin Howe, who directed the project, said: “It was an extraordinary privilege working with the Kravis Discovery Center. When the museum director first took us around the collection we were amazed by the stories behind the objects. That was really our inspiration. We wanted to make sure people had that personal experience. With the Chaperone technology, we give people a way to learn about the objects and the stories, and explore the center for themselves.”
Working with the Gilcrease Museum, which hosts the Kravis Discovery Center’s collection, TEQ4 designed the attraction to complement the Oklahoma school syllabus.
Susan Neal, Chief Operating Officer of Gilcrease Museum, said: “We are so grateful to the Raymond and Bessie Kravis Foundation for the latest investment in the Kravis Discovery Center which will transform the visitor experience. The new Interactive Discovery Trail gives museum-goers at Gilcrease a taste of new technologies that will be incorporated into the $65 million museum expansion project that is part of Vision Tulsa, approved by Tulsa voters last year. We appreciate the creative talent of TEQ4 to present a dynamic and educational experience for explorers of our vast anthropology material.”
According to Dr Robert Pickering – Director, Museum Science and Management, University of Tulsa, “The newly renovated attraction transforms the richness of our museum’s extensive Native American collections through innovative, interactive technology. For a new generation, the Kravis Discovery Center now adds stories, voices and context to help visitors understand the genius and artistry of Native American cultures past and present.”
TEQ4 combined a range of contemporary technologies and traditional techniques to sensitively tell the stories behind the artifacts, including:
Merging high-technology with artisan techniques and natural materials
• Immersive 3D soundscape recordings of birds, bison, horses and eagles recreate the natural environment, while hand-drawn animations and visual projections onto kiln-formed glass help to animate and bring to life the stories and artifacts.
• An augmented-reality interactive drawer experience replete with 3D printed and virtual objects allows visitors to see, manipulate and study the collection in detail.
• A Projected Map Table and Bear Cave panorama made from organic, textured kiln-formed glass was handcrafted specially for the attraction.
• A Welcome Wall with mountain tableau artwork for tablet display and storage, blends with an animated screensaver that changes based on battery level to create a dynamic motif.
Interactive Chaperone technology lets visitors take control
Chaperone software-controlled interactive tablets allow each guest to have a unique tailored experience as they explore the collection. High-precision tracking systems allow visitors to immerse themselves in the attraction, interacting with a host of artifacts brought to life using a range of hi-tech innovations. Using software to identify the exact location of each user, guests can be automatically grouped into teams and directed around the experience – tracking their progress, recording their score and receiving prizes as they answer curriculum-centric questions along the trail.
The Chaperone interactive software technology created by TEQ4 is linked to the museum’s asset management system (by Piction, as installed at the acclaimed Cleveland Museum of Art) and can easily be adapted to transform other existing attractions, experiences, museums and galleries, across a range of applications, including BYOD (bring your own device).