Megafauna Central, a natural history museum in Alice Springs, has extended its visitor offering with the launch of an exciting, new Augmented Reality (AR) experience and a new HoloLens headset experience.
The Northern Territory Government has invested $250 000 into this project, which has been delivered by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
Megafauna Central showcases the unique megafauna of Central Australia of the Miocene epoch, about 8 million years ago. The story of megafauna in Central Australia is presented through displays of the fascinating fossils found at the Alcoota Scientific Reserve, alongside exquisite illustrations, life-size megafauna replicas, Arrernte audio interpretations, and a range of immersive activities that invite children to unearth fossils and interact with palaeontologists in the lab.
By downloading the free, user-friendly Indigital AR Smartphone App, locals and visitors can journey back to the late Miocene epoch and get up close to extinct megafauna that roamed Central Australia 8-million years ago.
The App will give users a unique experience as they wander around Todd Street Mall to discover the behaviour of a Dromaius arleyekweke, the dwarf emu, and to roam alongside Alcoota megafauna such as large marsupial herbivores called Plaisiodon.
This unique adventure also allows App users to walk amongst the Megafauna across many different Alice Springs sites including:
1. ANZAC Hill
2. Todd River, adjacent to Undoolya Road and Leichardt Terrace
3. Megafauna Central
4. A public garden between Alice Plaza and Todd Mall
5. A public garden outside Adelaide House, Todd Mall
6. The Coolamon Garden outside the Alice Springs Town Council Chambers
7. Olive Pink Botanic Garden
8. The Museum of Central Australia lawn
9. The entrance to the Alice Springs Desert Park
10. Adjacent to the Dingo enclosure, Alice Springs Desert Park
Megafauna Centrals innovative HoloLens headset will also be available in the Todd Mall and will give visitors a unique experience of mixed-reality as they move around and experience it as if they were truly present.
The Indigital AR App is available for download to smartphones.
Megafauna Central was opened in July last year as part of the revitalisation program for Alice Springs CBD, providing a boost to local jobs and the Central Australian tourism industry.
Commenting on the technology launch, Northern Territory Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture Lauren Moss stated “I am incredibly excited to see this wonderful experience come to life with 6-million-year-old fossils from Central Australia on display in the one location for the first time that will provide an important boost to local jobs and the tourism industry.
“Megafauna Central is a new and unique tourism product to Alice Springs. I am very proud that ours will be the first Australian natural history museum to give visitors the unique experience of the HoloLens, and the first public HoloLens based program in the Territory.
“Since opening in July 2018, the centre has seen around 25,000 visitors, averaging 630 on a weekly basis and I expect this will continue to grow.”