Frequently asked questions
- What is Augmented Reality?
- Why is the ROM using AR in exhibitions?
- Is the app free?
- Do I need my own device to experience AR?
- Why is this app only available for iOS devices?
- Who developed the app?
- I really don't like a lot of technology in museum exhibitions. So Ultimate Dinosaurs is probably not for me.
- The app is slow to download.
- I'm having trouble making the AR work on your advertising.
- I'm having trouble posting my dinosaur photo to Facebook from the app.
1. What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a view of the real, physical world with a layer of computer-generated animation over top of it. It's not virtual reality, which is about creating a completely simulated world. AR merges the virtual with the real to create a different, or augmented, view of the world.
2. Why is the ROM using AR in exhibitions?
The fact that AR merges the virtual with the real world is what's so exciting for museums. AR is a powerful tool for museums because it can free objects from the confines of their displays and put them back into their original context.
For the ROM's exhibition, that means fleshing out skeletal casts to see what the dinosaurs might have looked like with skin on, how they would have moved and behaved. AR is an exciting part of this ROM exhibition because it brings the dinosaurs to life and allows us to deliver educational information in a way that's engaging and fun to use.
3. Is the app free?
The app is free and can be downloaded on iTunes.
4. Do I need my own device to experience AR?
There are three iPad stations installed in the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition for all visitors to use, so you do not need your own device to experience augmented reality (AR) in the exhibition.
However, if you have an iOS device, you can try additional AR experiences including three graphic panels in the exhibition (mounted beneath the dinosaurs) as well as AR on select ROM advertising.
5. Why is this app only available for iOS devices?
AR in mobile application is a very new technology. When the ROM's dinosaur app was produced, an iOS platform offered the most reliable development environment for AR in terms of both technical and creative freedom.
The ROM app was created with a software development kit by String, which is considered one of the most user friendly and stable AR software kits available. String is the fastest tracking method and together with Unity yields the best experience for AR on a mobile device. String is not currently supported by Android or Blackberry, although an Android release is in the works according to String.
Learn more about String
The ROM's hope is that as the technology develops, we will be able to deliver cross-platform experiences for AR in future.
6. Who developed the app?
The ROM Ultimate Dinosaurs app was developed by local Toronto production studio Meld Media. Meld also worked with the ROM to create several multi-media experiences beyond AR including two reactive walls that use body-scanning technology to react to visitor movement, a multi-user game that teaches users about continental drift and more.
7. I really don't like a lot of technology in museum exhibitions. So Ultimate Dinosaurs is probably not for me.
The ROM has designed Ultimate Dinosaurs in such a way that you can choose how you want to experience the exhibition, so there really is something for everyone.
If you prefer a more traditional style of exhibition, you can focus your visit on the skeletal casts, accompanying objects and information that introduce you to many new species of dinosaurs discovered in the last 20 years. The science and research behind the southern hemisphere dinosaurs on display reveal exciting new finds that have helped shape our knowledge of dinosaur evolution.
If you prefer to learn through multi-media, we encourage you to use the three AR stations and the 17 Dino Profile Stations including iPads on light boxes, and try your hand at the multi-user continental drift game.
If you're visiting with young children, there is a family adventure trail with various interactive stations throughout the exhibit. Kids can finish an activity and stamp their PaleoPassport to take home with them as a memento.
Download times will be different depending on the situation and the method of downloading. The function of the app itself cannot affect download speed.
- Keep the white and black frame on-screen
- Make sure there's even lighting on the image (avoid shadows or glare)
- On print materials, make sure the marker is flat
The AR app works best on iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPad 3. Also compatible with iPhone 3GS.
- You are required to have the Facebook app installed on your device in addition to the ROM Ultimate Dinosaurs app, otherwise your Facebook photo library is populated with the dino image instead.
- While in Facebook, within "app settings" (see image) the "post on your behalf" must also be active.
iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.