Wednesday, February 1

Birla museum promises tech thrill for kids

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A new gallery in Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM) is set to give schoolchildren a chance to experience the thrill of augmented reality. The new section, christened Digital Adventure Gallery, will have 15 exhibits and 10 interactive thrills. Such innovation — where a computer superimposes objects and allows the visitor to experience a whole new environment while remaining stationary — is already popular in entertainment zones abroad.

Apart from augmented reality, other interactive technologies like motion sensing, virtual reality, mind mapping and gesture recognition will enable kids to engage, feel entertained and also learn the science behind them. There will be scientists to help children even dabble in these technologies after experiencing them.

One such experience is the motion sensing corner, where a passive infrared sensor (PIR) will be used. The visitor will be asked to face the sensor and dance, while a robot standing nearby watches. When the visitor stops, the robot clones the movements.

“Not only will this be fun, but children will also learn the basics of PIR, which will catch all motion occurring in front of it,” said BITM spokesperson Gautam Seal.

Similarly, different situations will be created for kids to enjoy an enhanced perception of their current physical environment through augmented reality. “So if one day it’s a lion, the next day it could be a python or a dolphin. The induced environment will be such that one’s immediate sense will accept the sight in front of him or her,” explained Seal.

Closely associated with this are the interactive computer-generated experiences in virtual reality. The simulated environment incorporates auditory and visual sensory feedback. “The effect is commonly created by VR headsets comprising a head-mounted display with a small screen. This can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens,” said BITM director Sk Emdadul Islam.

Kids will be encouraged to strike up conversations and test whether anyone is lying or exaggerating through a mind mapping technique. “Our thoughts and emotions are a result of communication between the neurons in our brains. Brainwaves are produced by synchronised electrical pulses from interacting neurons. We digitally process this pulse and use it to trigger on/off a circuit,” Islam explained.

Source: Times of India

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