The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, is the only collections-basedmuseum in the world devoted to the study of play, and that’s serious business. The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the National Toy Halls of Fame.
For its new $4 million Toy Halls of Fame gallery that houses the National Toy Hall of Fame and the Toy Industry Association’s Hall of Fame, The Strong and Northern Light Productions turned to Unified Field to create a stunning digital interactive centerpiece. The Bubble Tower soars 26 feet tall and invites guests to step up to a pillar of monitors to create a virtual wonderland of interactive bubbles.
“The bubble tower is an enchanting exhibit interactive that seamlessly and easily invites people to play, smile, laugh, and have fun making and moving bubbles. It’s high-tech but feels like pure magic to the guests who use it in The Strong’s Toy Halls of Fame gallery.”–Jon-Paul Dyson, Vice President for Exhibits, The Strong
Designing A Whirlwind of Bubbles:
Built to honor bubbles, a 2014 inductee to the National Toy Hall of Fame, The Strong museum wanted to capture the whimsy of floating soap bubbles without the mess. Powered by a Kinect II, Unified Field’s designers and software developers created an interactive environment that transports guests into a bubble-filled wonderland.
Working with the museum’s staff and Northern Light Productions, Unified Field’s graphic designers and interface designers created the whimsical background to communicate the playful nature of popping bubbles on a summer day. The responsive bubbles, some of which contain iconic toys like teddy bears, Tonka Trucks, Game Boys, Barbie dolls, crayons, GI Joes, Etch A Sketches and Mr. Potato Heads, were animated by Unified Filed animators to behave like actual bubbles, moving on a virtual wind and responding to visitors’ real-world gestures. With a simple poke, visitors can pop the bubbles.
Bubble Logic: Gesture Recognition Software
Visitors can use hand and arm gestures to create and manipulate bubbles. Our software tracks skeletons to create a real time response to actions. By pointing an arm above their head, a guest can generate a torrent of new bubbles. Our software also determines where the visitor’s head is positioned to allow them to take bubble selfies with an overhead clapping motion.
The selfies are then mapped to a bubble, which floats upwards into the digital stratosphere. Other gestures allow visitors to create a whirlwind of bubbles or to balance bubbles on their hands.
About The Strong Museum of Play
The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester New York houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame. The National Toy Hall of Fame, established in 1998, recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period. Each year, the prestigious hall inducts new honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of classic toys beloved by generations..