May 25, 2017
From the May 24 media release:
New Augmented Reality App Transforms Manitoba’s Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre into an Interactive Fossil Collecting Adventure!
Morden, Manitoba (May 25th 2017) — With today’s official launch of the “Fossil Discovery Adventure” App, visitors to Morden’s Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (“CFDC”) will be treated to a first-of-its kind augmented reality (“AR”) fossil hunting experience.
The app allows users to collect AR fossils throughout CFDC by finding digital “dig sites” and applying their knowledge of the exhibits to the app’s built-in trivia game. By answering questions correctly users unlock the tools needed to dig and collect 3D digital fossils. Each fossil uncovered is a digital replica of the CFDC’s Guinness World Record holding Mosasaur (the “T-Rex of the sea”), Bruce. By collecting fossils from all 12 dig sites users can build a complete Bruce skeleton, and bring that skeleton to life in ways never before possible at the CFDC. Visitors can even take the replica home using specially designed posters and t-shirts available in the Gift
“There is really nothing like this in any museum in Canada and we are thrilled to be on the leading edge of bringing interactive experiences like this into our gallery.” says CFDC Executive Director, Peter Cantelon. “What I like most about this app is that it doesn’t act as a replacement for what’s already here, instead it rewards visitors for exploring the galleries in a more immersive way. To top it off, the app lets users take a digital piece of our exhibits home to share it with friends and family.”
Built as a collaboration between pioneering creative firm ZenFri Inc. (best known for their Canadian Video Game Award Nominated location-based AR game, Clandestine: Anomaly), and the education-focused immersive technology start-up Bit Space Development, the App not only shows that local innovation is built on a willingness to collaborate, but how cutting edge technology can be deployed locally to museums, historic sites and even schools to better engage users.
“What we really love about projects like this, beyond getting to work with amazing prehistoric creatures, is that it re-enforces that fact that there are so many hidden treasures in Manitoba,”said ZenFri’s Chief Executive Artist, Corey King. “If this app brings more people to the CFDC, makes people more aware of the jaw dropping specimens right in our backyard, and most importantly improves their learning experience, well we couldn’t be happier.”
“In all honesty,” Corey continues. “This idea is something we’ve been wanting to do for years, something of a bucket-list project. Our hope is that it opens people’s eyes to what’s possible in the museum, tourism and educational spaces, because we know this can be pushed much, much further.”
“I think this is only the beginning of where we can take things,” Peter notes. “The early feedback from our pre-release testing has been extremely positive. It’s amazing what these folks did on the budget we had. We’re already discussing what’s next, and actively exploring a variety of technologies and ways to expand the CFDC beyond our physical boundaries — it’s a very exciting time.”
The free app is available on Google Play and the App Store, and will be a permanent addition to the gallery. Check out http://discoverfossils.com/app for more details.