Tuesday, January 14, 2014

3-D Digital Wall Coming to Museum of History

Multi-Purpose Glass Structure Also in the Works

Visitors to the El Paso Museum of History will have a new, high-tech 3-D interactive wall to play with later this year, the first TouchCity Digital Wall in the country and only the second in the world. The 180 square-foot interactive digital wall we be built just outside the Museum’s entrance and will stretch 36 feet long and five feet high.
Digital Wall users will be able to upload photographs to the wall as
well as send postcards anywhere on the planet. (Museum of History)
The wall will consist of four large plasma screens that will present a “3-D” view of the El Paso area’s history. Users will be able to upload images to the wall from any location, including from hand-held devices such as smartphones. And visitors to the Museum will have the option of sending digital postcards to anywhere in the world using the wall.

The first TouchCity Digital Wall debuted in Copenhagen, Denmark, where 400,000 visitors viewed more than two million images in the first six months. Another 60,000 postcards were send from the wall. A third TouchCity wall is planned for Cairo, Egypt. The video below shows how the interaction will take place between the user and the digital wall, from the planned Cairo 3-D map.

Gibson Group of New Zealand, the production firm that created the TouchCity Digital Wall, describes it as a giant “interactive kiosk designed to give a wide public audience on the streets direct and playful access to their museum’s collections, and to add their own material in real time.” The touch screens allow users to explore “maps” using images and videos from both the museums they serve and the public.
The interactive wall will stand five feet tall just outside the Museum’s entrance. (Museum of History)
The $3 million El Paso project is funded through the 2012 Quality of Life bonds approved by voters and is scheduled for completion in fall of 2014. It will be the anchor feature in a 3,500 square-foot courtyard that will also hold a stage, sculptures, and art walls.

Museum officials would like to raise another $1 million in order to build an enclosed glass structure around the courtyard that will help protect the Digital Wall and its users from the elements. The Museum has launched its Star Campaign to help raise the funds to complete this “Welcome Center,” which will be directly across the street from the Triple-A ballpark currently under construction.

Those interested in donating to the cause can “adopt” stars inside the future glass structure that will form the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor constellations (Big Dipper and Little Dipper). Donations range from $10,000 per star to $500,000 for the entire constellation, with a $1 million donation securing naming rights for the Welcome Center.
The TouchCity Digital Wall at the Museum of History will allow users to explore
El Paso using a 3-D map that uses images and video. (Museum of History)
The glass structure may even be offered for events, according to the Museum of History’s website, with the opportunity to rent it for weddings or business functions. Those interested in donating should contact Jim Murphy, Director of Development, at (915) 351-3588.