Time Machine 2.0
Client: Helsinki City Museum
Developer: Teatime Research
XR startup Teatime Research took upon them the task of enhancing the immersive Time Machine space at Helsinki City Museum. The result was an interactive installation prototype executed with an IR camera and projectors, where users can physically navigate across time periods of chronologically layered panoramic images.
Helsinki City Museum’s Time Machine is, since 2016, an ongoing room installation, which brings museum visitors in touch with Helsinki environments from different time periods with immersive media such as VR headsets and wall projections. The aim of Time Machine 2.0 was to design an interactive projection prototype, which creatively utilizes panoramic cityscapes of Finnish photography pioneer Signe Brander and engages people to actively participate in discovering the history of their lived environments through immersive technology solutions.
Time Machine 2.0 projects panoramic images from the top of Kallio church tower on three walls around the user. The images have four time layers from 1912, 1970’s, 1980’s and 2018. Each user’s own body is their very own time capsule: One can “peel off” and alter their view of time layers by walking around in the projection space. As an user walks towards the projection surface, she is walking forward in time, ultimately opening a present day image. As she walks towards the center of the space, away from the walls, the image returns to the past.
Helsinki City Museum researcher Aki Pohjankyrö: “Helsinki City Museum is in the process of updating the Time Machine exhibition space, which is based on VR-technology and video projections. We want to enable a playful “time traveling” experience for our visitors by just moving in the space. This helps the visitor to understand and experience the historical changes of the city in a new, visual, and exciting way.”