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Saturday, November 7 • 9:45am - 10:00am
MuseTech in Space: Building the Giant Astronaut

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In January of 2015 the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) opened its newest traveling exhibit, Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience. To complement this exhibit we worked with Poetic Kinetics to hang a 3 story tall astronaut sculpture in the center of the museum which had featured previously at the Coachella Music Festival [1] [2]. To customize this sculpture the SMM Exhibit Media Team built a system of computers, monitors, and projectors, that allows visitors to project a recording your face on the astronaut’s 10’ tall visor and customize the astronaut with your personalized name-tag. We will demonstrate how we developed the custom media systems that allowed you to virtually “get inside” the astronaut.

This presentation will touch on some key elements of the astronaut system that correspond with relevant trends in museum technology: HTML5/JS kiosks, projection mapping, networked communication between systems, and usage analytics.HTML5 kiosks. We will review the ways to use a kiosked version of the Chrome browser and NodeJS to build a video recording booth. We will describe some key technical issues that others can avoid in their efforts.

Projection mapping. We will describe the use of Resolume, a projection mapping software package, and the Navistar hemispherical projection lens to map a flat recording onto a spherical projection surface (the astronaut’s visor). We will describe why we chose Resolume as a projection mapping system.

Networked communication. We will demonstrate how we use NodeJS to transmit information between multiple computers allowing visitors to send a “digital nametag” to monitors embeded in the astronaut’s chest. We will show how NodeJS make networking simple to build into your museum media.

Usage analytics. We will show how we used Keen.io to track usage analytics, recording the number of recording sessions per day, popular names, and other usage metrics. We will describe how other can easily build these sorts of analytics into their applications.

The session will feature direct links to our open source documentation and code which can be found on our GitHub repository for the project [3]1 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/etban/16942142636/2 - https://twitter.com/hashtag/GiantAstronaut?src=hash3 - https://github.com/scimusmn/jts-astronaut

avatar for Bryan Kennedy

Bryan Kennedy

Director, Museum Technology, Science Museum of Minnesota

Saturday November 7, 2015 9:45am - 10:00am CST
Great Lakes A1 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

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