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ZKM Panoramic Navigator

1997 Karlsruhe, Germany

The Panoramic Navigator is a novel augmented-reality, interactive, multimedia information terminal developed for the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Situated in the entrance foyer of the ZKM, it provides a means for the general public to intuitively and interactively orient themselves in its gallery spaces and quickly access information concerning selected features of those spaces. Five of these devices were installed at the ZKM, two of which were low enough for children to interact with.

Using a 360-degree rotatable touch screen coupled to a video camera, the Panoramic Navigator enables the viewer to look around the building via its live camera image. This image is dynamically augmented with captions that identify points of interest and the specific functions of its various locations. Using the touch screen the viewer can also access additional multimedia information attached to these locations.

The spatial integrity of its augmented-reality operation derives from the fact that its video- and computer-graphics representations of the ZKM space remain perspectively aligned with the viewer’s physical position and point of view while they rotate the screen. This provides the embodied experience of an exact conjunction between the real-time world and mediated representations of the ZKM environment.

A special feature of ZKM’s Panoramic Navigator was the ability to move vertically to various levels of the building, while at the same time maintaining spatial alignment with its corresponding position on the ground floor. This extended right up to the roof of the building, where one could explore a scenic panoramic view of the whole city of Karlsruhe.

Exhibition Record

1997:  ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany

1998:  i3 Conference, Nyborg, Denmark

1998/10/1 - 10/10:  Paris Motor Show, Porte de Versailles, Paris, France

2000/6/1 - 10/31:  Expo 2000, Themenpark Planet of Visions, Hannover, Germany