Kids get tech makeover at NMA

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Kids get tech makeover at NMA

Kspace to be rebuilt.

The National Museum of Australia is planning knock down its interactive Kspace gallery in a $1.2 million redesign.

Kspace is a digital experience for children to examine the future possibilities of technology. The current exhibit houses one LCD screen, 12 interactive touchscreens and a 3D theatre. 

Children have their photo taken upon entry which is then displayed on a screen. They use a set of templates to build a futuristic vehicle or residence, then enter the 3D theatre to view their creation. The process takes around ten minutes. 

The templates for the virtual city were created by the Australian National Supercomputer Facility. The Museum said the age and “increasing technical obsolesence” of the 12-year old exhibit meant it was nearing the end of its functional life. 

The replacement for Kspace is expected to have a lifespan of between five and seven years, and will cost around $1.2 million in total, including around $30,000 for the introduction of a standalone website. The entire project is expected to commence in November and be finalised in December next year.

The website will extend the on-site experience for Kspace visitors and will potentially offer a similar online gaming experience to that of the physical exhibit.

The Museum asked for a software solution that would retain relevance over the next 7 years, but recognised the challenge involved in such a request.  

The solution will be controlled by a ‘visitor services host control console’. The central console will control system reset, scene override, modification of electronic signage messages and view the cameras and surveillance monitors installed by the Museum.

The current concept planned for Kspace is “Where am I?”. Visitors to the exhibit will watch a video explaining the experience, then in groups of four they will create a vehicle and have their photograph taken at a four-sided multitouch table.

The children will then make their way into one of three “pods”, containing four large screens and a basic set of movement controls, starting their virtual experience. 

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