Augmented Reality app Skin & Bones

Skin & Bones is a mobile app with augmented reality technology that I helped produce, design and created content for. A technology advanced tool created to engage visitors to the Bone Hall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History with animal anatomy and evolution. The app was the recipient of a prestigious Gold MUSE Award for Games and Augmented Reality, an annual distinction by the American Alliance of Museums. It also received considerable attention from the media, such as in this piece of news from the Washington Post.

The app can be downloaded to iPhones and iPads from the App Store and used at the exhibit and offsite. It includes 32 videos, 4 games, and 10 augmented reality experiences to showcase 13 animals whose skeletons are on display at the Bone Hall; it tells the animals’ natural history stories, interviews the scientists that study them, it covers the large scientific ideas they represent and shows how their bones work. On this page, you see some images of the app interface and the promotional video. See also a selection of the 3D models used in the AR experiences HERE.

Skin & Bones results from the collaboration of many talented professionals including museum curators, museum educators, software developers, animators, and audio and video producers. The 2D and 3D illustrations were created by me with commercially available software packages and using different imaging techniques – 3D scanning, optical scanning, photogrammetry, CT and micro-CT scanning. The inspiration for the user interface was the retro look of the Bone Hall, a space designed in the 60s that is a testament to classic natural history museum exhibits.

This project was part of my doctoral research and multiple journal articles have been published about the use of the app and augmented reality technology in the Bone Hall and in museums at large. Read the abstracts and download the full articles on the Publications page, and learn more about the research here.