In/Visible World of Data, 2019

Futurium, Berlin, Germany

Digitalisation and big data have already profoundly impacted our work, our cities, and our behaviour as consumers. An augmented reality app developed for Futurium offers a glimpse of what the future holds for these three spheres of life. In the “Technology Thinking Space,” visitors can explore the pervasive, invisible layer of data that runs through the modern world and discover the ways “intelligent” services could soon shape our everyday lives.

Seven laser-sintered model worlds are set out around the exhibition space. The shapes and tones of the prototypical, white polyurethane worlds give little away. Only by using the tablet-based AR app can visitors discover a variety of otherwise-invisible concepts of the future. As a tablet is held in front of each three-dimensional model, animated scenes begin to play. Visitors can deepen their knowledge about the various digital technologies which will inform future developments by activating videos, text and images via image markers.

The degree of interaction and influence on events within each model world varies from station to station. In one world, visitors can use the app to react to an approaching storm in Rio de Janeiro, controlling the outcome from a control room, while in another world, the scenario has a more narrative focus, and interaction has been deliberately kept to a minimum. Each station offers extensive, interest-specific information as well as opportunities for playful learning.

The augmentation also enhances two large wall graphics with real-time data, which document the progress and speed of the world’s technologization. By focussing on pictograms on the adjacent walls, visitors can access video interviews with experts.

The glimpse of the future offered via the tablet-based AR app invites visitors to explore current and future technological changes during their visit actively and conjointly. Because the AR app continually integrates real-time data, Futurium is able to communicate even most up-to-date developments to visitors.