Metamorphosis

A temporary museum installation about the lifecycle of butterflies

Working with the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, we designed and implemented Metamorphosis, a system for an engaging, educational butterfly exhibit called Becoming Butterflies. The exhibit employs augmented reality and full-body interaction to guide users through critical phases of a butterfly‘s metamorphosis process. Metamorphosis lets children experience this life cycle with their own bodies by interacting with an animated projected character. Children begin the interaction by standing in front of the exhibit where they can be tracked by the Kinect. Once the Kinect begins tracking, the child is prompted (via text projected on the wall and audio played via overhead speak- ers) to crouch to become an egg. Once the child crouches, the projector displays an egg. The user wiggles back and forth to break free of the egg and become a caterpillar. In caterpillar form, the user moves around eating leaves by making a “chomping" gesture with his/her arms until the caterpillar is ready to become a chrysalis. At this point the user reaches his/her hand up to touch the branch overhead, forming a silk thread and becoming a chrysalis. The child holds still until the exhibit prompts them to break free and become a butterfly by reaching their arms out. Finally, the child is prompted to move his/her arms up and down to fly away and lay another egg.