February 10, 2009

Total Immersion's Augmented Reality Starts Hearts Beating at Exploreum's New Exhibit

Los Angeles, Calif. - Total Immersion's technology lies at the heart of a new exhibit demonstrating the inner workings of the body's most important organ, the heart. This augmented-reality experience--part of the "My Body Works" permanent exhibit that opened January 19 at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile, Alabama, and created by the partnership of Exhibit Engineering and Total Immersion--puts 3D images of a beating human heart into the hands of visitors.
The demonstration adds a pulse to a larger-than-life heart, courtesy of augmented reality, a technology that integrates interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream--and, at the Exploreum, provides 360-degree views. When visitors present cards with any of five designated images before a video camera, a nearby display captures a 3D image of a beating heart emerging from the card, pumping away. Pointers pop up with descriptive text for the portion of the heart in view. Each card triggers a different view, and the visitor controls the action by moving the card to rotate the heart in a 360-degree arc. For an added touch of realism, onecard illustrates blood flow through the heart's chambers, speeding up and slowing down -- just like in real life.

"In a new gallery filled with cutting-edge exhibits designed to engage and educate visitors about the miracle of the human body, Total Immersion's augmented reality solution delivers an experience that can't help but grab your attention," says Matt Browning, director of software development for exhibit engineering, which developed and built more than 20 unique interactive exhibits for the "My Body Works" gallery at the Exploreum. "We've become a certified Total Immersion partner because their AR technology brings educational and marketing materials to life in a very compelling, memorable way. Our goal is to spark the imagination with imagery and impact, and Total Immersion has helped us achieve just that."

The Exploreum demonstration marks the second museum exhibition in America for Total Immersion, a French company with a U.S. base of operations in Los Angeles. In August, the company unveiled an augmented reality three-dimensional puzzle for the Arizona Science Center's "My Digital World" gallery. The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center's new permanent exhibit gallery, "My Body Works," incorporates the latest computing and digital imaging technologies to educate students in a wide range of health and biology topics. The new 6,500-foot gallery includes a fully functioning health and biology lab where visitors can perform experiments and learn more about the science of life.