For many, when it comes to augmented reality (AR) most will have only experienced the technology through their phones rather than specialist hardware. Especially not Microsoft’s enterprise-focused HoloLens 2. In a public first for the device, an environmental art exhibit called Arcadia Earth will utilise HoloLens 2 to give guests the ability to interact with holograms as they walk through the show.
Developed in partnership with Enklu, HoloLens 2 gives life to this art exhibit, enhancing guests’ visit by making ecosystems interactive, animating animals and unlocking hidden gems along the way. Teaching visitors about the plight of the environment, they can enjoy captivating experiential art whilst learning about issues such single-use plastic waste and overfishing.
One area is dedicated to coral reefs, home to over a quarter of the oceans’ marine life. Attendees will be surrounded by fish and other aquatic life, all within easy reach. Reefs are in danger of bleaching, a process that participants can now view in holographic form. They’ll then be offered advice, such as which sunscreen is far more environmentally friendly, thus protecting the reefs. This information can then be sent to their phones at the touch of a button.
As Arcade Earth is a multisensory exhibit it is also filled with physical installations and proximity-triggered audio, all aided by a friendly orb that guides guests around.
One of the benefits of an exhibition like Arcadia Earth using AR is its adaptability. New experiences can be created, holograms updated as required, or new information added as discoveries are made. Thus encouraging return trips to educate guests on the natural world.
Arcadia Earth has a number of locations around the world including New York, Las Vegas and Saudi Arabia. However, the HoloLens powered experience will be based at the New York City location, rolling out later this month. General admission tickets are $39 USD peak and $33 off-peak, with the HoloLens tour price coming in at $59. Proceeds from ticket sales go towards planting mangrove trees, found to be great at absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
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