Children's Museum Denver

Introduction:

Logic Integration was approached by Jonathan Goldstein of the Children’s Museum to provide him with the design and implementation of a rather unusual project. With the museum being completely overhauled with all new exhibits, Mr. Goldstein had envisioned the entry of the museum having a large abstract tree attraction with displays mounted throughout a series of copper tubes in the place of branches. At the end of the tube a display would act as the “leaf” of the exhibit, and at the base of the tree a station would be set up for guests to take a picture upon entry. Once the picture is taken it then is transmitted up into the canopy and the guest’s picture would randomly make its way through the displays.

Logic Integration installed an equipment rack at the base of the tree, which included; a Crestron Control Processor, a 48 port Pakedge enterprise network, Panamax Bluebolt power and monitoring system, and a Mac Mini server.

For the displays in the canopy Logic Integration wired and installed thirty Planar 46” displays. Each display was also connected to a Mac Mini client, which was custom mounted to the rear of each display. The thirty Mac Mini’s were wired back to the central switch and served as an extension of the Mac Mini server. The displays were mounted in a variety of formations. Some were tilted and others were mounted face down. All the displays offered a strange and different mounting scenario.

The interface at the base of the tree utilizes the photo booth application running on the Mac Mini Server. The big green button utilized by the Museum guests was custom made to interface with the program. The code written for the exhibit auto focuses the mouse click to the photo booth’s “snap picture” command so that the experience is the same every time. Once a picture of a guest is taken, that image is randomly sent to all the mac mini’s above through the use of a custom written web link. Then each display can show the photo taken for a period of time. The idea is, as new guests arrive and take their photo, the canopy of displays will shuffle through the thirty most recent images. The thirty-first image drops off as new pictures are taken.

There was also a custom interface created and loaded to the reception desk computer. This gave the Museum staff the options to delete photos as well as load custom logos or themes to all the displays. The code also reboots each pc if there is a power loss or a problem. When the system reboots the code launches a script to insure that the Photo Booth program is re-launched and everything returns to normal operating functionality.

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