Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum

Discovering the Prehistoric Past with AV Interactives
Los Angeles, CA

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Visitors to the 14,000 square-foot Dinosaur Hall in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County experience the wonder of the prehistoric creatures through innovative exhibits enhanced by audio-visual technology. Electrosonic was responsible for the design, engineering, fabrication, installation and programming of the Hall’s audio, video and interactive displays.

Dinosaur Hall

The skylit L-shaped Dinosaur Hall showcases the world’s only T. rex growth series of baby, juvenile and adult skeletons, and also features a glass-sided mezzanine that runs along the short side of the L where additional wall-mounted exhibits reveal more about the amazing creatures, demonstrating what it’s like to find fossils in the field and to study them in the lab.

Dinosaur Hall Touchscreen

Electrosonic project manager Steve Calver explains that “each touchscreen panel in the Hall is implemented in a slightly different way to support its exhibit. Some stand alone, some are built into the wall or embedded into the bases of the platforms.” For instance, Electrosonic integrated rugged touchscreen interactives into the bases’ access panels and computers for the dinosaur specimens into the bases that support them, minimizing the use of extenders. These touchscreens allow visitors to review graphic panels and interactive videos as they learn more about the bones.

Dinosaur Hall Projection

When visitors walk past the Triceratops and the 68-foot Mamenchisaurus, they encounter a 15-foot wide front projection screen suspended about nine feet above the floor. Electrosonic specified a 3-chip DLP projector and a pair of speakers located behind the screen to play a looped video describing the hunt for the prehistoric creatures called “Investigating Dinosaurs”.

Dinosaur Specimens

Below the projection is a 43-foot Fossil Wall showcasing 100 diverse dinosaur specimens. Two touchscreen kiosks positioned in front of the wall allow visitors to explore each bone and zoom in and rotate some of them 360 degrees on the screen. A five-screen ribbon of 40-inch LCD monitors on another wall is hung at head height, displaying five discrete images or edge-blended content across the screens from five synced HD media players in the equipment room.

Dinosaur Hall Multi-Touch Screen

The mezzanine level features a number of exhibits with AV components. One display about the structure of dinosaur heads has an interactive touchscreen in its base that enables visitors to simulate dinosaur calls thanks to a compact, flat full-range speaker. A multi-touch screen, which can handle 32 simultaneous touches, is positioned alongside an exhibit of excavation tools. Its table-style configuration allows kids to play a game that simulates a dinosaur excavation.

The exhibit design was by Evidence Design. Fabrication of the entire exhibit was awarded to Lexington Design & Fabrication, whom Electrosonic was contracted with and has worked with on many projects over the years. All interactive media programs were created by Unified Field.