The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has been focused on interactivity and technology since the moment it opened in December 2012. Never one to rest on its laurels, the museum is set to introduce a new technological way to interact with exhibits.
Thanks to a three-year partnership with Samsung, visitors to the museum can soon check out one of more than 500 Galaxy tablets featuring activities and games tied to certain exhibits . Initially, the featured exhibits include the Alamosaurus on the fourth floor, the Extreme Earth area on the third floor and the Human Body exhibit on the second floor.
Each stop has multiple activities that allow visitors to gain a deeper understanding of what they're seeing. Some make use of the tablet's camera to take pictures of the exhibit, including one where you take a picture of your own head and then drag your skull out of your face. Others are games of sorts, letting visitors do things like create their own earthquakes or play around with weather variables to see how each affects the world.
The museum envisions adding more exhibits to the app in the coming months and years. The app also contains a visitors guide giving detailed information about the museum, including a nice interactive 3D map showing all five levels, allowing guests to easily find their location and plot their way around the building. The app is currently available in both English and Spanish, and the museum will likely add more languages in the near future.
Additionally, anyone with an Android phone or tablet can download a separate app that replicates the virtual visitors guide available on the museum's tablets. The full in-museum app may some day become available for personal download, but only the visitors guide is available for now. The museum plans to add an iPhone app in the next six months or so.
The tablets will be available to check out free of charge starting Thanksgiving weekend for Perot Museum members and in early December for the general public. The museum will limit the tablets to one per family to try to ensure as many visitors as possible get to experience the new innovation.