TOUCHDOWN MARS / Interactive visitor experience takes you to the surface of Mars

The renowned European Space Agency is at the forefront of space science and research. To promote their programme for Mars exploration they have asked Ouno to design and build an ambitious digital story-telling experience.

Our challenge is to create a modular exhibition space that uses digital technology to inform visitors about three separate ESA Mars missions, highlighting both the economic and scientific benefits of each.

We’re working closely with the ESA team to create a three-walled ‘Mars habitat’ interior, with three large recessed windows looking out onto the Martian landscape. The panoramic scene runs seamlessly across all three windows and features robotic rovers, dust storms and a manned Mars base.

The space will be exhibited at the heart of the Erasmus Centre – the 900sqm HighBay Exhibition space; a showcase for the Directorate of Human Spaceflight’s programmes and missions. Located within ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, its extensive facilities and hosted events already attract scientists, politicians and academics from around the world.

At the centre of the exhibition space is a touch table control console. Inserting and rotating a control puck into the console gives users access to interactive content, featuring touch activated timelines, videos, image galleries, maps, audio narrations, 3D and 2D visualisations and more.

The touch tables futuristic interface design is built using the powerful Intuiface software and incorporates Tangible Object Recognition functionality for a fully tactile experience.

In normal use, a trained ESA staffer will host audiences within the space. However, the whole installation – including touch table and Intuiface software – is robust enough to run with no supervision for 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

Scalable solution

The Mars experience is designed to be modular and scalable both in terms of software and stand structure. If the Mars experience proves successful there are plans to produce a further two exhibition displays on the themes of Low Earth Orbit and returning to the Moon. Therefore Ouno is developing a library of templated layouts and assets within the Intuiface CMS that can be exported and reused.

The Mars exhibition stand is also modular, constructed from the lightweight high quality Aluvision aluminium system. Behind the three walls is an enclosed secure storage space holding the powerful PC, spare parts and the integrated PA system.

Fast to erect and disassemble, the Aluvision system provides the option of making the Mars experience truly portable. This opens up an opportunity to take the exhibition on the road.

Our Role:
/ Research
/ Concepts
/ UX and UI
/ Development (Intuiface)
/ 3D modelling and animation
/ Tangible Object Recognition
/ Asset creation
/ Stand design, build and install
/ Exhibition graphics
/ Training and support

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