Alexander Betts, Brenda A Lopez Silva, Panos Oikonomou
Museum spaces are ideal settings for interactive experiences that combine entertainment, education and innovative technologies. LunAR Park is an augmented reality application designed for a planetarium setting that utilizes existing lunar exhibits to immerse the visitor in an enhanced world of interactive lunar exploration referencing amusement park experiences. The application was originally presented as part of Moon Lust, an exhibition at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomical Museum in Chicago that explored global interests on lunar exploration and habitation through interactive technologies. The content of LunAR Park was inspired by pre-space age depictions of the lunar landscape at the original Luna Park in Coney Island, the advancement of lunar expeditions of the past century, and the romantic notions of future colonization of the moon. LunAR Park transforms four lunar themed exhibits into a virtual amusement park that brings the surface of the moon to life. The users interact with the augmented environment through iPads and navigate the virtual landscape by physically traversing the space around the four exhibits.