During our visit to Brick Fest Live at New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), we had a chance to preview Connected Worlds, an exciting and groundbreaking new exhibition on environmental sustainability. Connected Worlds is an amazing exhibit!
Note: As media, I received a preview the exhibit. No other compensation was received. Views expressed are always 100% my own.
Found in NYSCI’s iconic Great Hall, Connected Worlds is a fully immersive, digitally interactive experience where visitors can explore the interconnectedness of different environments, learn about the importance of keeping systems in balance, and see how individual and collective actions can have widespread impact.
“Connected Worlds reflects what NYSCI is all about – a playful hands-on activity, a focus on problem-solving, and deep engagement with a topic. Connected Worlds gives visitors confidence in their ability to effect change, and empowers them within a larger environment,” said Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI.
Connected Worlds features gesture-based technologies that project images onto seven massive screens. Six of the screens are more than 14 feet tall and one screen, which shows a digital waterfall, is 38 feet tall. The screens show six different, but interconnected, environments – desert, mountain valley, plains, reservoir, jungle and wetlands – each with their own unique trees, plants and creatures, but sharing common resources, such as water and weather patterns.
A central reservoir, which is fed by the waterfall and supplies water to the six environments, is projected on the floor, covering approximately 2,300 square feet.
One of the interactive features that impressed me about Connected Worlds is that kids (or adults) can interact with animated creatures, plants, trees and other objects, just making a gesture or doing a specific movement.
In one environment, my son learned about the importance of making sure this sea slug had water. He was also able to "tickle" the slug, which reacted and changed it's color. It was fun to see.
In another panel environment, my son learned how to plant a tree. The tree he planted grew quickly and then he learned how that tree affected it's environment. It provided food for the animals, who came into the environment and then they caused other changes.
Visitors in the Connected Worlds can use other simple gestures to plant seeds, harvest trees, and create clouds. All these changes determine the health of the environments, which influence which creatures and plants thrive or decline.
A result of a collaboration between NYSCI and Design I/O and a team of others, Connected Worlds is the largest, most complex responsive environment ever created for a museum.
“The responsiveness of the exhibition is accomplished through a number of technologies,” says Stephen Uzzo, vice president of science and technology at NYSCI. “Although visitors will not be aware of the technologies needed to make Connected Worlds come to life, the ability of the exhibition to respond to visitors’ actions in real-time creates the playfulness and interactivity that is at the heart of the experience.”
The exhibition’s simulated environments create continuously changing experiences for visitors through the use of cutting-edge technologies – location tracking, gesture sensing and global environmental and social databases. Other new and emerging technologies will be integrated as appropriate.
Connected Worlds opened on June 27, 2015 and will be a ongoing exhibit. It's free with NYSCI admission.
To learn more visit - www.nysci.org/connected-worlds
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