WILD Panoramic Navigator
The WILD Panoramic Navigator is a novel, interactive augmented-reality multimedia information terminal derived from the original Panoramic Navigator (1997). It provides a means for the general public to intuitively and interactively orient themselves in an exhibition space and quickly access information concerning the exhibits presented in that space.
Using a 360-degree rotatable touch screen coupled to a video camera, the WILD Panoramic Navigator enables the viewer to look around the real-world environment via its live camera image. Using the touch screen the viewer can then access additional multimedia information attached to specific objects in the environment.
The WILD Panoramic Navigator was specifically designed for the Melbourne Museum’s exhibition Wild: Amazing Animals in a Changing World, where visitors were surrounded by 750 animals densely distributed over all the walls of the exhibition room. The augmented-reality system allows the viewer look around this room at these creatures and, by touching the screen to any one animal, brings up factual information and its conservation status. Visitors can view a high-quality photograph or video of the animal in its natural habitat and rotate a 360-degree movie of the subject, and even download the footage to a Bluetooth compatible cell phone.
The spatial integrity of this augmented-reality operation derives from the fact that its video representation of the gallery space remains 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, real-world situation of a room full of animals and their mediated augmentation.
The WILD Panoramic Navigator received the Gold MUSE Special Achievement in Innovative Design at the American Association of Museums’ 23rd Annual Excellence in Exhibition awards ceremony.