Mixed Reality highlights the effects of noise pollution on orca whales

 In CraneMorley, Mixed Reality Industry Insight

“Critical Distance” is the new museum exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of National History. This new immersive mixed reality experience sheds light and shows the impact noise pollution has on the Southern Resident orca whales.

In the past we have written about how the HoloLens and Mixed Reality technology has brought extinct animals back to life or allow museum goers to step into artwork. The next evolution of this use case has arrived. The Smithsonian National Museum of National History and Critical Distance exhibit brings the great orca whales to life. In addition, the technology shows the affect noise pollution has on the endangered orca whale’s species, what will happen if they were to become extinct, and reinforces conservation efforts.

The exhibit gives users the ability to dive under water and creates a new experience to tell the story of orca whales. Users’ walkthrough different scenarios and visualize how the orca whales live in the Salish Sea. They witness how orca whales use echolocate to hunt and communicate with each other. The effects of increased noise pollution. The last example is key to show the devastating impact noise pollution has and highlights the steps to increase the orca population again.

Creators emphasized how the holograms and sound waves demonstrates what happens when a boat drives by a pod. Mixed Reality technology allows users to “see” sound for the first time. Users leave with a visual and better understanding of the science of echolocation. They witness the struggle orca whales face to survive on a day-to-day basis. Creators also pointed out how they were able to create a hands on and interactive experience to help people learn.

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