CRMM (Columbia River Maritime Museum) was looking for new ways to engage the younger, more tech-savvy segment of their viewership when they developed their exhibit “Science of Storms”, and implemented several new technologies to help both get across the “Science” aspect of the exhibition and bring a new level of energy into the museum as a whole.
The exhibit includes a hurricane wind simulator as well as a 3D film, “Hurricane 3D”. Visitors can see themselves using infrared vision technology, try their hand at giving a weather forecast in front of a green screen, and view real-time data from earth and space-based monitoring systems displayed in a large-scale projection over an entire wall of the museum.
In addition to these, WORKSHOP 3D created an educational augmented reality application that is integrated with a new exhibit on the nature of storms in the Northwest designed by the Experience Designers at Interplay Inc., entitled “Northwest Rain Shadows”.
In one of several user-selectable experiences, guest can use the app on museum-provided hardware to visualize filling the entire display with water to a height of eight feet, demonstrating the average volume of rain that falls on the roof of the museum on a daily basis.
In another experience, they can fill (and stand inside) virtual human-scaled rain gauges from several local cities, witnessing the extreme differences in annual rainfall between cities which are only seventy miles apart. The interaction between the physical and virtual parts of the experience make the experience all the more compelling.
Finally, they can and watch a storm cloud form over the ocean, dump rain on Astoria, get drained over the Cascade Mountain Range, and move further eastward nearly drained of its moisture, demonstrating the concept of a “Rain Shadow”.