The Future is Here: Hyperlinked Museums

When I was back in my much-loved Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to Avenger’s S.T.A.T.I.O.N.  This interactive exhibit is a Marvel Universe museum that uses cutting-edge technology to engage the audience and impart information about the characters we all know and love from the movies and comic books.

As we entered the space we were given a “training device”. This device was the size of a smartphone, with a camera, audio, and a touchscreen. It guided us through the display space. We were given recorded directions in the form of communications first from Maria Hill, SHIELD agent and later from Friday, Tony Starks A. I. Assistant. As we moved through the space, we were invited to supplement the information we found in the exhibition with videos that loaded onto our training device. As we did, the device would populate picture bubbles that signified advancement. Each room was dedicated to one character or group of characters from the Avengers films. Along with informative expositions, there were interactive stations where you could squeeze a bar like the Hulk and see how many PSIs you can exert or maneuver one of Iron Man’s suits through an obstacle course with just the use of your eye movements. There were replicas of the vehicles, costumes, weapons, and villains from the movies. Periodically you were prompted to take pictures of yourself interacting with the exhibit. These were recorded in the device and you were encouraged to make a “dossier” collage of your pics.

The interactive displays made this incredibly engaging for our whole party (ages 45, 27, 11, & 8) and the excitement of our communiques from our “guides” kept us moving and connecting with each other.  

For each character dedicated room, there was a quiz on what you had learned on your training device. You gained achievements by completing all the tasks and there was a cumulative result at the end. Your grade was recorded and you could purchase it as a souvenir. The whole exhibit was an incredible example of gamification and the use of technology to enhance learning; a valuable example of the future of museums and entertainment (edutainment).

 

9 Thoughts.

    • @izzie It was sort of like a tricked out iPod. You also had the ability to download their app and use your own device. At the end of the tour it worked as a remote for the “weaponry” you were assigned in order to defeat Ultron. We were made to feel like we were part of the last Avengers movie. This exhibit can be altered and developed as the storyline in the Avengers Universe moves along. [Geeking out!].
      A Star Trek themed museum of this sort sounds incredible.
      Museums can use this blueprint for displaying all sorts of exhibits.
      Thanks for reading my “bonus post”. Good luck.

  1. Veronica, it is so apparent that I don’t get out enough–lol!
    Everyone comes to visit Las Vegas and go to places that are right “down the street” from me, which I have never had the chance to experience…ugghhh!
    Your focus on gamification is focused, especially the “edutainment” value…and notice, there is always a price to everything here, ha!
    Great sharing this class with you, and I hope we run into each other in person soon!!

  2. Hi Veronica! So glad I was able to spend a portion of that day helping to celebrate you and say goodbye. It was a great way to send you off on your new adventure.
    Loved your detailed summary of your experience at this awesome exhibit! Edutainment for sure (you crack me up girl!). I’ve got to check this place out. Sounds like a great creative example of a interpretive exhibit in a nontraditional space. Thank you (& miss you much!) 🙂

    • Great point Andres @lardlad87. I admit there was a bit of information overload but… The app/device reminded you to interact with the physical space by prompting you to take photos. The space itself was engaging because it had “training activities” for you to accomplish. The versatility in the tech was great for young people and adults alike. There were far too many cool things happening in RL (real-life) for you to forget to look at what was in the space. Some of the text that accompanied the displays was reiterated in the recordings, emphasizing the important bits.
      Audio guides are the current trend in “classic” museums. Here you are handed what looks like a remote control with an earpiece. Usually, the exhibits are marked with a number and correspond to a recording from the device.
      Last summer I had the pleasure of going to Stonehenge. The self-guided tour there is provided through the use of an audio device. This allows the visitors to learn a great deal while not marring the landscape with placards or displays.
      I’ve also been on city tour buses that have a running commentary coming from sound systems that are built into the seats. You use earbuds (new and provided upon boarding) to hear the recording and can control the volume and even the language of the narrator.
      The incorporation of tech into the museum landscape is another way that information is delivered. It IS exciting! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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