Ultimate Dinosaurs: Augmented Reality
Not only will you see new dinosaurs in the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition, you'll experience them in new ways through augmented reality (AR). AR layers virtual experiences over the real environment to bring our great Southern dinosaurs to life!
This is the first time Cincinnati Museum Center is using AR technology in an exhibition setting – bringing these giants to life and encouraging you to look at them from a new perspective. Three AR stations in the exhibition allow you to virtually flesh out dinosaur skeletons. Move the device across the skeletal casts to see what the dinosaurs looked like with skin, and click on the on-screen hotspots for further information.
If you have an iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch®* mobile digital device, download our FREE Cincinnati Ultimate Dinosaurs app and bring it with you to Museum Center to activate additional experiences!
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. (NOTE: App requires a device with a built in camera and will not work on iPad 1.)
Download the app and try it on the image below!
FAQs about Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is a view of the real, physical world with a layer of computer-generated animation over top of it. It's not virtual reality, which is about creating a completely simulated world. AR merges the virtual with the real to create a different, or augmented, view of the world.
The fact that AR merges the virtual with the real world is what's so exciting for museums. AR is a powerful tool for museums because it can free objects from the confines of their displays and put them back into their original context.
For Museum Center's exhibition, that means fleshing out skeletal casts to see what the dinosaurs might have looked like with skin on, how they would have moved and behaved. AR is an exciting part of this Museum Center exhibition because it brings the dinosaurs to life and allows us to deliver educational information in a way that's engaging and fun to use.
Yes! This free app can be downloaded on iTunes.
There are three iPad stations installed in the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition for all visitors to use, so you do not need your own device to experience augmented reality (AR) in the exhibition.
However, if you have an iOS device, you can try additional AR experiences including three graphic panels in the exhibition (mounted beneath the dinosaurs) as well as AR on select Museum Center advertising.
AR in mobile application is a very new technology. When the Museum Center's dinosaur app was produced, an iOS platform offered the most reliable development environment for AR in terms of both technical and creative freedom.
The Museum Center app was created with a software development kit by String, which is considered one of the most user friendly and stable AR software kits available. String is the fastest tracking method and together with Unity yields the best experience for AR on a mobile device. String is not currently supported by Android or Blackberry, although an Android release is in the works according to String. Museum Center's hope is that as the technology develops, we will be able to deliver cross-platform experiences for AR in the future.
Museum Center's Ultimate Dinosaurs app was developed by Toronto production studio Meld Media. Meld also worked with Museum Center to create several multi-media experiences beyond AR including two reactive walls that use body-scanning technology to react to visitor movement, a multi-user game that teaches users about continental drift and more.
Museum Center has designed Ultimate Dinosaurs in such a way that you can choose how you want to experience the exhibition, so there really is something for everyone.
If you prefer a more traditional style of exhibition, you can focus your visit on the skeletal casts, accompanying objects and information that introduce you to many new species of dinosaurs discovered in the last 20 years. The science and research behind the southern hemisphere dinosaurs on display reveal exciting new finds that have helped shape our knowledge of dinosaur evolution.
If you prefer to learn through multi-media, we encourage you to use the three AR stations and the 17 Dino Profile Stations including iPads on light boxes, and try your hand at the multi-user continental drift game.
If you're visiting with young children, there is a family adventure trail with various interactive stations throughout the exhibit. Kids can finish an activity and stamp their PaleoPassport to take home with them as a memento.
Download times will be different depending on the situation and the method of downloading. The function of the app itself cannot affect download speed.
Here's how to get the most out of the augmented reality experience:
- Keep the white and black frame on-screen
- Make sure there's even lighting on the image (avoid shadows or glare)
- On print materials, make sure the marker is flat
The AR app works best on iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 and iPad 3. It's also compatible with iPhone 3GS.
You are required to have the Facebook app installed on your device in addition to the Cincinnati Museum Center Ultimate Dinosaurs app, otherwise your Facebook photo library is populated with the dino image instead. While in Facebook, within "app settings" (see image) the "post on your behalf" must also be active.
*iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.