The Museum Alive App is a fascinating phone app that brings the prehistoric world and many of its extinct creatures, into your home quite literally.
The Museum Alive app comes from the Natural History Museum in London and is an extension of their 3 D CGI movie. This 90 minute movie experience brings the exhibits to life in the museum and is collaboration between experts and curators of the museum with some stunningly advanced CGI techniques.
As an extension, the Museum Alive app is even more impressive. It uses Augmented Reality (AR technology) so instead of viewing the exhibits on a screen, they are bought to life in 3 D glory on any surface in your home such as the floor or a table.
To use the app, you find a flat surface and then pinch and zoom the image to the right size. Then the habitat comes to life on your table or any other flat surface, bringing these animals right into your home. Viewing extinct animals moving around in your home, rather than on a screen is a weird experience.
And the fact that the 3 d animation is accompanied by the unmistakeable voice of Sir David Attenborough adds even more reality. Because he is so closely associated with high quality nature documentaries, it is hard to believe that these extinct creatures are actually an animation rather than created via real live filming.
You can use the app to drive the animation. If you move your phone you will see a new viewpoint of the animal and can move it around for 360 degrees detail. Exciting encounters are bought to life such as a sabre tooth Smiledon hunting its unsuspecting prey. The fact that this action takes place on your table makes it even more compelling and remarkable.
The Museum Alive app is a great experience but so far is fairly limited. At the time of writing there are only three AR exhibits although more are promised later, including the Dodo.
The Museum Alive app costs just $2.99. It is totally worth the low cost even if just for the novelty of seeing 3 D in your home. That said, the app is extremely interesting and recreates the prehistoric habitat as well as the animals and is something that is certainly going to delight everyone who sees it.