New Media Gallery was an innovative, interactive experience that used the latest technology to allow visitors to step into a multidimensional social network, demonstrating new media’s powerful impact on our world. The gallery blended the latest in digital technology with the Newseum’s multimedia expertise to place visitors at the center of the news revolution.
Its mission was to illustrate how technology can help create fresh forms of communication and information sharing, which was reshaping our news media and society.
The gallery featured five groundbreaking interactive experiences and a multiscreen video presentation that illustrated the evolution and progression of global media. Live Twitter feeds filled touch-screen monitors and connect visitors with trending news stories.
As visitors entered the gallery, they were directed to the “Check-In” area, where they could post photos of themselves to screens in the gallery and comment on events of the day. At two 11-foot-wide interactive touch walls, visitors were encouraged to explore dozens of important news events and viral videos, including the first Twitter reports of the 2008 China earthquake and the Facebook posts that fueled the Egyptian revolution in 2011.
In the “Choose the News” area, visitors could flip through the latest news stories, build custom news pages, and then publish them to a large video wall. The “Game Zone” features motion-tracking technology that allows visitors to use hand gestures to test their knowledge of social media.
The Newseum closed its doors in Washington, DC December 31, 2019.
How do we make any surface a display?” The Photon Engine, a massive back-lit screen showing real-time feeds of user input, and VantagePoint, an equally hulking tableau of touch-screens make up the centerpiece of the Newseum New Media Gallery.
The Photon Engine takes the information entered by a large group of users and presents the results on a customized screen presented by a row of LED projectors. For the Newseum’s purposes, the user input is a choice of leading news stories that visitors can curate to their personal whims. A Congressional scandal here, the latest developments from Syria there, mix in a tawdry celebrity scoop for good measure and submit—it’s not at all dissimilar from a personalized Google News page, just matched against other visitors’ news habits.
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