As the role of the museum expands, so
do the tools required to fulfill that role. Whether an exhibit
is online or within concrete walls, simulation is an opportunity
for deeper communication with museum audiences. Recent developments
in audio-tours and portable electronic guides are transforming
the visitors' experience. As new technologies make their
way into the museums, institutions that adopt them first
will set precedents and gain prestige for their pioneering
work. N Formation can help with this technological transition
by generating relevant contact that engages museum-goers
without sacrificing the core-values of the institution.
Simulations on the gallery floor can
enhance the understanding of existing artifacts and exhibits
by delivering interconnected information. A virtual model
of a priceless artifact lets visitors explore aspects and
viewpoints of the object that would be otherwise unavailable.
A simulation of a woolly mammoth moving through pre-historic
Siberia adds context and life to a large, but otherwise
An on-line exhibition is a great way
to advertise a real-life exhibition, or to provide universally
accessible educational content at a global scale. Images,
Flash Animations, and QuickTimeVR applets have drastically
increased the impact of museums over the web, and they will
continue to do so. But our real-time, interactive, 3D models
offer something that these other media don't: true exploration.
As creatures that live in three spatial dimensions, people
love to explore spaces. Virtual spaces are no exception.
The real space of the museum can be
dauntingly confusing. Not only are museums often architecturally
complicated, but the contents within are a major distraction
to finding your way. Much like audio tours, handheld PDAs
can provide responsive maps that use GPS or other locational
technologies. Spatial, multi-tiered maps are better at conveying
architectural space than a series of floor plans. Traditional
map kiosks can also be enhanced with 3D rooms, directions,
and virtual guides.