Ideum Creates Interactive Experiences about the Natural World

Ideum has worked with nature centers and natural history museums to develop powerful interactive experiences.

Ideum Creates Interactive Experiences about the Natural World
People looking at exhibition elements at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge visitor center.

by Natalie Pace, Content Development Coordinator April 25th, 2022

Ideum has had the honor of working with a range of natural history museums and nature centers to create innovative exhibits that bring people closer to nature. For example, we recently announced our collaboration with the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) in Erie, Pennsylvania to develop a suite of interactive exhibits and immersive multimedia experiences designed to spark the curiosity of the next generation of environmental stewards.

As we look forward to this exciting new project, we also take a look back at some notable work with other nature centers around the country.

Families in an immersive exhibition.

In March, the Ideum team completed two years of work on one of our largest projects to date. Working closely with the staff of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, members of the local community, Brycon Construction, and Formative Architecture, Ideum designed and developed exhibits for the refuge’s new visitor center. These experiences include interactive murals illustrating the many species of wildlife inhabiting the area and exhibits highlighting human impact on the Rio Grande region.

Park ranger exploring a touchscreen interactive.

In 2019, Ideum developed and installed a large interactive video wall for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Designed to provide detailed information about the stunning network of trails around Mt. San Jacinto State Park, this interactive wall features stunning 4K drone footage, interactive maps, and motion sensor onboarding that responds to visitors’ approach.

Person exploring digital touchscreen

Visitors to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor, Michigan can find the Interactive Naturalist Exhibit, designed to provide a hands-on way to interact directly with the museum’s unique collection of natural history artifacts. Visitors can select an artifact—a geological specimen, a hand tool, a fossil—encased in a protective case with an affixed RFID tag. The exhibit kiosk’s built-in RFID reader identifies the object and brings up key information, such as images, videos, and maps, on the integrated 49” 4K Ultra HD Ideum Inline multitouch display. The kiosk was designed and built in Ideum’s fully-equipped custom fabrication studio.

People playing with digital touchscreen.

In 2020, Ideum teamed with the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the City of Redding, California to create a custom software experience designed to let visitors explore the relationship between the local watershed and regional utility systems. Visitors have multiple avenues to explore, and the 65” Ideum touch display—embedded in a repurposed water table—is large enough to allow up to four guests to navigate simultaneously.

Two people in front of an exhibition screen depicting animated dinosaurs.

In 2020, Ideum’s powerfully immersive Digital Dinos experience opened at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum (LVNHM). This exhibit was created to give visitors a fun opportunity to interact with technically up-to-date recreations of the dinosaurs that once roamed the southwest region. For example, guests can play with a Eotryrannus, pet an Ankylosaurus, and even feed a palm frond to an Eolambia mother and baby. Developed during the pandemic, the exhibit is a completely touchless experience, using a Microsoft Azure Kinect to track visitor movements and interactions with the 16-foot projection wall on which the dinos appear.

All of these interactive experiences provide new ways for nature center and natural history museum visitors to explore their environments. We look forward to continuing to craft exhibits that bring people closer to nature—and that shed light on ways to become more effective caretakers of the ecosystems we’re all part of.