CoSA_A(R)dventures

 

A(R)dventures (on Microsoft HoloLenses) is the only Mixed Reality application in a museum worldwide using haptic exhibits to trigger and control holograms.

A story about climate change in three episodes

Idea and implementation – FRida & freD Children‘s Museum Graz for CoSA – Center of Science Activities

A(R)dventures

  • Immerse yourself into different worlds using Augmented Reality.
  • Move between the real and the virtual world. You work with the AR robot H.I.G.G.S. (Hyper Intelligent Guiding Gadget System) to solve tricky tasks and learn bit by bit about the causes and effects of climate change.
  • Find a highly interactive learning experience in a story driven format. Instead of using just digital methods or the classical exhibits we melted both concepts into one strong experience by using the best of both worlds.

A(R)dventures – 3 episodes – 18 exhibits on 200 m² – 40 Microsoft HoloLenses

  • Temple of rain – Try to uncover the mysteries of the Maya civilization
  • Aurora Borealis – Accompany H.I.G.G.S. on an Arctic research ship
  • Habitat Red 6 – Gain insight into the complex ecosystem of planet Earth

“Hey you! Yes you, friendly-looking person! Please let me out! “

None of us would ever have thought that this sentence could become our favorite phrase in this project. Because hearing this sentence means the AR-headset and everything else around is working!

Two years ago, we were entrusted with designing a small, but by no means contemplative, science center for young people from the age of 12 in the small, tranquil city of Graz – the CoSA – Center of Science Activities.

Right from the beginning, we wanted to create something very special for this exciting target group, and keywords such as VR or AR were buzzing around in our heads. We knew very well what VR is capable of and thus decided not to use it for us in this instance. Concerning AR we had only a very vague idea – which was perhaps not so bad for the beginning – and we knew quite quickly: AR, that’s something for us!

For more than 15 years the team of FRida & freD has been engaged in the design and construction of interactive exhibits. That means also 15 long and hard years of fault-lists and repairs. That`s where the AR glasses came into play, because it seems the solution of all our sleepless nights was found. We had the idea to build only the basic functions of the exhibits, the rest of them should be augmented. For example, you operate a crank and all that moves or happens is augmented by the AR-headset.

Telling stories is a big passion of the entire FRida & freD team. And so it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to use the medium of the AR-headset not only to replace exhibits, but also to tell stories. Over the next few months, 54 AR-headsets were purchased and a large, ambitious team of programmers, designers, exhibit designers, curators, writers and many more started to work and all together had a common goal.

And that’s CoSA_A (R) dventure!…A story about climate change in three episodes. Packed in a search for the professor who left her little robot HIGGS behind.

And therefore most of the visitors come back after their adventure in the AR world and do not want to follow HIGGS’ closing remark …

“For an organic unit, you are not even so incompetent. We were a cool team! I think of you, take care! And remember to take off your glasses right away.”

We are working on formats and possibilities to pass on the unique expertise we have gained through this project to other science centers and museums.