ObservaStory

The ObservaStory project is a system of informational kiosks that uses tower viewers to highlight ecological information in specific locations around the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, New York (Figure 1).

The final prototype of the ObservaStory on Demo Day.

Figure 1. The final prototype of the ObservaStory on Demo Day.

Goals/Hypotheses

The aim of the ObservaStory was to create an interactive, View-Master-inspired kiosk that can help attract viewers to a location and make them more excited about the people and objects found there (Figure 2).

The traditional View-Master uses stereoscope technology to view several images on slide disk, which the user navigates using a lever on the right of the device.

Figure 2. The traditional View-Master uses stereoscope technology to view several images on slide disk, which the user navigates using a lever on the right of the device.

The ObservaStory:

  • Effectively uses smartphone technology in a way reminiscent of View-Master technology
  • Shows that it is advantageous for users to view ecological information in a visually immersive way
  • Interests users in the work of the Sanctuary for Independent Media and the specific urban ecology surrounding the Sanctuary
  • Provides a place-based kiosk concept that can be replicated through open-source methods by other organizations like the Sanctuary

Lessons Learned/Conclusions

By the end of the project, the team came to several realizations, including, but not limited to the following:

  • It is rewarding to conduct multiple iterations of physical and informational designs, as well as designs that combine the two.
  • Users must be earned.
  • Place-based learning is important now more than ever.