Below are just a few examples of ways that ColliderCase technology could be used to augment different kinds of museum objects with rich media virtual interpretive content. All contained within the footprint of one showcase. This blog takes a look at ideas for numismatics, natural history, and palaeontology, textiles and costume, mechanical instruments, documents, and musical instruments.
Numismatics are a rich resource for archaeologists and historians and can offer fascinating insights into past political, religious and social climates and events. Coins in particular, also tend to be very small and often showing signs of wear and tear. For these reasons they can be difficult to display and interpret effectively. Using ColliderCase technology, individual coins can be picked out of a displayed collection, enlarged and augmented. Use it to show the difference between authentic and fake versions of the same coin, or the cud left by a cracked die. Pick out the different inscriptions, show the obverse and reverse of the same coin and create a video of how that exact coin would have been made, from start to finish. Perhaps create a range of content so those visitors who are, for example, particularly interested in the political situation at the time the coin was used can learn more, and those who want to learn about how and where the coin was found can skip straight to the content that most interests them.
Natural History & Palaeontology
ColliderCase technology is brilliantly suited to the interpretation of natural history collections. Do you have a species that changes it's appearance in different seasons? Why not show this transformation using one real specimen and letting the virtual content do the rest - visitors can remain focused on the specimen while it 'changes' before their eyes, along with a background panorama to match. No more need for graphic panels dragging your visitors away from the specimens themselves. Add context using video, for example showing global rates of rainforest destruction next to real examples of species subsequently under threat. Content can be segmented to effectively provide for different audiences, enabling for example, both a natural history buff and a primary aged student to be catered for in the same space.
I'll never forget the first time I went fossil hunting on a college field trip, cracking open a small boulder to reveal a wealth of plant fossils and realising that I was the first human being to have ever set eyes on these marvellous records of our planet's living history. ColliderCase technology can bring these fossils back to 'life', creating multiple digital palaeo-environments inside a single showcase, recreating whole life forms from their real fossil remains, use animations that intersect with the actual fossils and show how they moved and interacted with their environment. Use the system to show a variety of trace fossils, how they were formed and how palaeontologists use these to make their interpretations, or the environmental conditions necessary to allow the fossilisation process to take place.
Textiles and Costume
ColliderCase systems don't need to be small. How about using the technology to show the different layers of an 18th century woman's dress, delving through to reveal her pocket and then unpacking its contents, enabling a rich media exploration of how clothes reveal the social and political position of women at the time. This technology is particularly valuable if you have a costume too fragile for public display. Simply display a real chemise and use the technology to digitally add the other clothes layer by layer, enabling your audience valuable access parts of the collection not normally on view. With ColliderCase technology, this all happens inside the case, meaning your multi-media interpretive content shares the same display space as the garments, keeping audience focus squarely on the objects themselves. Or perhaps you have a stunning Tudor ensemble in your collection, stuffed with symbolism (and bombasting)! Click here to see a video of how the ColliderCase system was used to highlight and interpret the symbolism on an embroidered rank badge.
The ColliderCase system is perfect for creating engaging displays with mechanical instruments, especially those that are difficult to explain how they function, or are too fragile or broken to show working. With ColliderCase, the virtual content can intersect with the object, digitally augmenting it to show working parts 'moving' and explaining complex mechanisms using a rich media approach. To see this in action, take a look at this short video showing how the system was applied to a sextant. Remember, the only thing in the case is the sextant, everything else is virtual content!
Often very difficult to interpret effectively, documents can represent a real challenge for curators and exhibition designers alike. You can read a short blog about how we applied ColliderCase technology to a highly significant historical document written in old French and an unfamiliar script, enabling visitors to access the letter's content in six different languages, direct from the original document.
Beautiful to display but often tricky to interpret effectively, musical instruments can be left sitting mute in many exhibitions. A ColliderCase system can not only be used to provide relevant audio for different instruments, but the digital content appearing on the same plane as the actual instrument can show how the design of a particular instrument may have changed through time and across cultures. Why not use digital media to augment the real instrument to explain the science and mechanisms behind how it produces its discrete range of notes and timbres, or to see inside and show how it is constructed? Content can be layered to delve deeper into musical styles or theory, for example, or to explore the cultural importance of particular instruments or musical events. Music is the language of the soul after all...