Perlan Museum

One of the best instances I’ve seen using technology to drive guest interaction was when I visited the Perlan museum in Iceland.

The Perlan museum is a marvelous place and even included its own ice cave. One thing I found remarkable was how well they fit technology into the museum. Model replicas have projection mapping (showing how the land changed over time) but the pièce-de-résistance was the interactive wall.

The wall curved all around the exhibit. It was a white wall with many projectors working to create a seamless “video-looped image”. That itself is not uncommon, but it was the extra interactivity that I liked the most.

Each few feet along the wall was a infrared tracking sensor (an Xbox One Kinect in this instance). The wall detected when people were close and would show information on the “screen”, prompting users to point at the wall. When pointing at the wall a cursor would appear. If a user kept this cursor steady, more information would appear. This information gave more details and showed archival videos of the information. When it tracked that the user left or had started pointing at other areas of the wall, the information would close.

It seemed to track up to two people at each sensor. Even when the wall was full of information, it never seemed cluttered.

All this is good from a technology standpoint but what was more remarkable was how well this integrated into the museum. I did not see anyone struggling with the concept, everybody seemed to understand… And that is very important. You can have all the fancy gadgets and gizmos. But if users don’t pick it up as second nature they will not use it, or worse, be afraid to use it not knowing what it does.

So bravo Perlan museum. You’ve done a stellar job.

Check out the Perlan Museum -