The Museum of Future Government Services, in Dubai from the 10th to 12th February 2014, is an interactive design futures exhibition launched at the UAE Government Summit. The Museum explores the future of travel, healthcare, education and urban services. It brings together over 80 designers, technologists and futurists from nearly 20 countries to imagine how these services could be changed for the better in the coming years.
The exhibition was created by Tellart and FABRICA in creative consultation with Superflux, Near Future Laboratory and Noah Radford of Institute for the Future. I was part of a FABRICA/Tellart team that realized the Future of International Travel Exhibit.
The exhibition was broken into five sections addressing different subjects: international travel, healthcare, education, smart cities, and public services. The first thing people experience is The Future of International Travel, in which the installation conveys the potential combination of security, confidence, efficiency and luxury that can be implemented in international travel scenarios.
The Future of International Travel area is a long hallway adorned with LED lighting strips and a projection at the end. As patrons enter the exhibition they are handed a cool towel, as is the Emirati custom when entering a building, in order to refresh ones face and hands. The towel is an example of how traditional customs can be retained while mixing with the speculative possibilities of future technologies, which comes into play at the end of the hallway.
As visitors move through the space they cross over a series of thresholds which illuminate lighting along the walls as well as signal a sound indicating that they are currently being processed for dangerous materials. The idea being that security measures become less intimidating but still retain and improve upon the accuracy of current systems which seem more invasive.
As visitors move forward more, they see at the end of the hallway a projected image with a mesh wire-frame silhouette of their figure represented on screen. While in the space they are 3D scanned and their figure is analyzed for any suspicious articles. Above their silhouette is a read out in Arabic continually updating to reflect the status of their security scan until they have been approved for access to the exhibition.
At the end of the hallway the visitor drops the towel they were handed into a bin, and upon doing so triggers a scanner for pathogens. The display on the scanner reads through a number of characteristics and then the visitor is approved for entry, having been screened as pathogen free. This is an interesting way of taking a traditional custom and combining it with potential technologies of the future in order to make a more transparent and effortless scenario for enhancing security.
My role in this project was designing and developing the scanning system display and the towel scanning iPad apps. For the display I’ve been developing an openframeworks application using Kinect depth data for showing the body point cloud and tracking visitors.
The production of the International Travel section was headed by Mikhail Mansion of Tellart, while the light gates were prototyped and constructed by David Penuela, interface design for the border control screen, scanner, and wearable by Alice Longo, and the arm mounted towel scanner display designed and constructed by Lisa Kori Chung.
More info at: http://museum.governmentsummit.ae/en/