The Science Museum and Samsung Electronics today announced the launch of Digital Lab, a pioneering research project that will explore new ways to use the latest digital technologies to engage and inspire the Museum’s global online audience and visitors of all ages.
The Digital Lab, developed by the Science Museum with support from Founding Sponsor Samsung, will use emerging new technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), 3D scanning and high definition rotational photography, to bring objects from the Museum’s world-class collections to life like never before.
The first Digital Lab project will focus on the Science Museum’s new mathematics gallery, of which Samsung is Principal Sponsor. Open to the general public from 8 December, Mathematics: The Winton Gallerywill explore how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the modern world over the last four hundred years, bringing the subject to life through remarkable artefacts, stories and design. Showcasing over 100 treasures from the Science Museum’s world-class science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections, the new mathematics gallery will highlight the fundamental role of mathematics in all our lives.
The Science Museum has worked with Samsung to digitise some of the most important artefacts in the gallery, making use of a number of innovative technologies to capture, and allow visitors to interact with, the objects, including 3D scanning, high definition rotational photography and component photography. Among the remarkable objects that will be brought to life with the help of 360-degree rotational photography are the Three Ring Enigma Machine and the William Thomson Tide Predicting Machine, while a beautiful 17th Century Islamic Planispheric Astrolabe will be brought into the 21st century with component photography.
Prototype VR experience
Taking inspiration from the experimental 1929 Handley Page aircraft which forms the iconic centrepiece of the mathematics gallery, an immersive prototype VR experience will be created with the Samsung Gear VR, allowing visitors to reach new heights as the plane takes off and learn more about the mathematical principles inherent in the plane’s design.
Exploring alternative views of the digitised objects
Working with the Museum’s rich collection of digital assets, the Science Museum will invite groups to take part in a series of Digital Lab ‘hackdays’ to develop experimental interfaces such as maps, timelines and data visualisations, and create alternative ways for visitors (both at the museum and online) to navigate its rich collections.
John Stack, Digital Director at the Science Museum, said:
“The Digital Lab will build on the Science Museum’s long history of digital innovation and enable us to remain at the forefront of use of new technologies within the cultural sector. Digital technologies and our audience’s use of digital continue to evolve rapidly. It is important that the Science Museum explores the potential of digital to engage audiences with the Museum's collections and the important stories that they tell, and we are delighted to be working with Samsung to make the first of many Digital Lab projects possible.”
As Founding Sponsor of the Digital Lab research project, the work forms part of Samsung’s wider Citizenship Programme to help get people excited about technology and science.
Russell Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung UK & Ireland, said:
“At Samsung, we are committed to creating digital experiences that empowers people, enhances learning, and unlocks endless possibilities. We’re delighted to partner with the Science Museum on this unique project that demonstrates the power of technology, bringing people even closer to this fascinating subject.”
Further details about Digital Lab public events and hack days will be announced in early 2017. For more information visit the Science Museum Group Digital Lab website.
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Notes to Editors
About the Science Museum
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum's world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.
About Samsung’s Citizenship Programmes
Samsung is committed to help close the digital divide and skills gap in the UK. Samsung Digital Classrooms in schools, charities/non-profit organisations and cultural partners provide access to the latest technology. Samsung is also providing the training and maintenance support necessary to help make the transition and integration of the new technology as smooth as possible. Samsung also offers qualifications and training in technology for young people and teachers through its Digital Academies in London and Birmingham. These initiatives will inspire young people, staff and teachers to learn and teach in new exciting ways and to help encourage young people into careers using technology. Find out more.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit Samsung Newsroom.
About Mathematics: The Winton Gallery
On 8 December 2016 the Science Museum will open a pioneering new gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, that explores how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the modern world over the last four hundred years. Mathematics: The Winton Gallery will place mathematics at the heart of all our lives, bringing the subject to life through remarkable stories, artefacts and design.
More than 100 treasures from the Science Museum’s world-class science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections will help tell powerful stories about how mathematical practice has shaped, and been shaped by, some of our most fundamental human concerns—including money, trade, travel, war, life and death.
Mathematics also defines Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the gallery. Inspired by the Handley Page aircraft that will be suspended at its centre, the gallery is laid out using principles of mathematics & physics. These principles also inform the three-dimensional curved surfaces representing the patterns of airflow that would have streamed around this aircraft.
Mathematics: The Winton Gallery has been made possible through an unprecedented donation from long-standing supporters of science, David and Claudia Harding, and support from Samsung as Principal Sponsor and MathWorks as Major Sponsor. Additional support has come from Adrian and Jacqui Beecroft, Iain and Jane Bratchie, the Keniston-Cooper Charitable Trust, Dr Martin Schoernig, Steve Mobbs and Pauline Thomas.