With immersive attraction company TEQ4‘s Chaperone technology, incorporating visitor tracking, augmented reality and 3D printing, a Native American museum collection in Tulsa has been transformed into a unique interactive and immersive educational attraction.

TEQ4 has brought together multiple technologies – old and new – to tell the story of Native American people and culture through the 4,000 artifacts that make up the collection at the Kravis Discovery Center in Oklahoma.

The new attraction is The Interactive Discovery Trail. It uses 3D soundscapes, innovative display solutions and TEQ4’s own Chaperone technology system to bring the culturally significant objects to life. In doing so it gives visitors a rare insight into the lives of the people who created and used them.

KDC Interactive Discovery Trail. Bear cave. teq4 chaperone technology

KDC Interactive Discovery Trail. Bear cave.

Martin Howe, who directed the project, is CEO of TEQ4. He said, “It was an extraordinary privilege working with the Kravis Discovery Center. When the museum director first took us around the collection we were amazed by the stories behind the objects. That was really our inspiration. We wanted to make sure people had that personal experience. With the Chaperone technology, we give people a way to learn about the objects and the stories. It also allows them to explore the center for themselves.”

Working with the Gilcrease Museum, which hosts the Kravis Discovery Center’s collection, TEQ4 designed the attraction to complement the Oklahoma school syllabus.

KDC Interactive Discovery Trail - interactive tablets close up.

KDC Interactive Discovery Trail – interactive tablets.

Dr Robert Pickering is Director, Museum Science and Management, University of Tulsa. He said, “The newly renovated attraction transforms the richness of our museum’s extensive Native American collections through innovative, interactive technology. As a result, for a new generation, the Kravis Discovery Center now adds stories, voices and

gilcrease museum logo

Gilcrease Museum logo

context to help visitors understand the genius and artistry of Native American cultures past and present.”

TEQ4 combined a range of contemporary technologies and traditional techniques to sensitively tell the stories behind the artifacts.

Merging high-technology with artisan techniques and natural materials

Highlights include:

  • Immersive 3D soundscape recordings of birds, bison, horses and eagles. These recreate the natural environment, while hand-drawn animations and visual projections onto kiln-formed glass help to animate and bring to life the stories and artefacts.
  • An augmented-reality interactive drawer experience replete with 3D printed and virtual objects allows visitors to see, manipulate and study the collection in detail.
  • A Projected Map Table and Bear Cave panorama made from organic, textured kiln-formed glass was handcrafted specially for the attraction.
  • A Welcome Wall with mountain tableau artwork for tablet display and storage. This blends with an animated screensaver that changes based on battery level to create a dynamic motif.
KDC Interactive Discovery Trail - kids with interactive tablets

KDC Interactive Discovery Trail – kids with interactive tablets

Interactive Chaperone technology lets visitors take control

Chaperone software-controlled interactive tablets allow each guest to have a unique tailored experience as they explore the collection. High-precision tracking systems also allow visitors to immerse themselves in the attraction. They enable them to interact with a host of artifacts brought to life using a range of hi-tech innovations. Furthermore, using software to identify the exact location of each user, guests can be automatically grouped into teams and directed around the experience. The technology also tracks their progress and records their score. They receive prizes as they answer curriculum-centric questions along the trail.

In addition, the Chaperone interactive software technology created by TEQ4 is linked to the museum’s own asset management system. This is by Piction, as installed at the acclaimed Cleveland Museum of Art). It can easily be adapted to transform other existing attractions, experiences, museums and galleries. It also works across a range of applications, including BYOD (bring your own device).

All images by Erik Campos.