Explore a virtual forest at ArtScience Museum’s Into the Wild. From 11 February 2017 onwards, this permanent installation lets you step into the (virtual) boots of a forest ranger and culminates with the opportunity to make a real change in a Sumatran rainforest.
ArtScience Museum’s Into the Wild is a collaboration between the museum, Google, Lenovo and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It makes use of augmented reality technology from Google on a Lenovo smartphone to tell a story about the urgent need for wildlife conservation.
Be a Ranger in a Virtual World
The experience starts at Basement 2 of the museum where you can pick up a Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphone. The smartphone acts as a window to a virtual forest that has been built around the physical space of the museum’s basement.
With smartphone in hand, you can walk around the museum’s basement to explore a virtual reality forest. The smartphone can be angled upwards and downwards, revealing the lush digital rainforest surrounding you.
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Within the forest, you play the role of a forest ranger and will encounter five animals you can interact with. These are the mousedeer, tiger, Malayan tapir, orang utan and pangolin. As you interact with them, you will learn about the imminent threats they face such as poaching and deforestation.
The first part of the experience ends with you picking up a virtual seed. Take the virtual seed up to Level 4 of museum where the experience continues. On Level 4, you can plant it and watch it grow into a tree – virtually of course.
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To turn this virtual tree into reality, you can pledge a donation to the WWF. Your donation will be used by the WWF to plant a real tree in Rimbang Baling, Sumatra.
Rimbang Baling, at the centre of Sumatra island, is one of the remaining pristine rainforests left in Sumatra and a key habitat for the endangered Sumatran tiger. ArtScience Museum’s Into the Wild highlights the pressing need to conserve and protect these fragile rainforests and the biodiversity found within them.
Also on Level 4 is a projection mapping film by Brian Gothong Tan. Using the writings of naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace as inspiration, the animated film depicts the fragility of the forest habitat.
Behind the Storytelling
Into the Wild uses Google’s Tango technology. Tango leverages the device’s vision to track its position and movement in the space it is in. The ArtScience Museum is the first museum in Asia to use Tango to deliver an immersive experience for visitors.
This experience highlights the need for rainforest conservation. “In a time of rampant deforestation in Southeast Asia, Into the Wild sends a critical conservation call for the growth and renewal of our natural environment,” said Elaine Tan, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Singapore. The WWF’s work in Rimbang Baling involves both protecting the wildlife and working with local communities on sustainable practices.
Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum said, “Into the Wild is driven by a deep-seated, collective commitment to making the world a better place. Working with leaders from the world of technology an sustainability, we have created a compelling artistic experience using the Lenovo Phab 2 pro smartphone, along with augmented reality technology, Tango. We do not just want augment reality; we want improve reality…By combining art, science and technology, Into the Wild transcends the virtual world and make a significant, real-world impact.”
ArtScience Museum’s Into the Wild
Opens 11 February 2017
ArtScience Museum, Basement 2 and Level 4
Free with ArtScience Museum Admission