Last week I had the chance to get a sneak peak of the HP New Media Gallery, which will open on Friday at the Newseum. The exhibit is absolutely fantastic, and is a great display of social media’s increasingly important role in journalism and society. From a Newseum press release (download here), “The gallery is an innovative, interactive experience that uses the latest technologies from HP to enable visitors to step into a multi-dimensional social network, demonstrating new media’s powerful impact on our world. The 2,500-square-foot gallery is the first permanent addition to the museum since its grand opening in 2008.” I really enjoyed getting a preview of the exhibit – it was great to get a sneak peak at the exhibit. Here is a great photo (All Photos in this post are credited Sam Kittner/Newseum) of the gallery, and what you can expect to see:
The exhibit hosts some really cool technology from HP, including a HP VantagePoint Touch Wall and technology from The HP Photon Engine solution – these are futuristic technologies currently in incubation in HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group Innovation Program Office.
The gallery also has two large video presentations highlighting the evolution of new media and a live Twitter feed with touchscreen monitors. The gallery is an incredibly interactive experience. While talking with Newseum and HP staff, they informed me that the goal was to try and make an exhibit that fit all the types of museum patrons. There are people who like to dive into every detail, others who spend time at one spot in particular, and also those who just casually breeze through the museum. Whichever profile you fall into you, there will be something for you at the New Media Gallery.
Upon entering the gallery, Newseum patrons can check-in, take a photo and send the photo via email to friends and family. The press release announcing the gallery states, “As visitors enter the gallery, they are directed to the “Check-In” area, where they can take photos of themselves with HP Slate 500 tablet computers and post them to screens in the gallery and comment on events of the day.” This was such a great experience, and I loved the ability to be able to share my experience with those who could not be there with me.
The next part of the exhibit was two 11 foot-wide walls highlighting important news stories and events. “At two 11-foot-wide HP VantagePoint touch walls, visitors are encouraged to explore dozens of important news events and viral videos, as well as the first Twitter reports of the 2008 China earthquake and the Facebook posts that fueled the Egyptian revolution in 2011,” the press release acknowledges.
Carlos Montalvo, Vice President, Innovation Programs, HP, walked me through some of the technology behind the screens. It was great getting an insider perspective, and Carlos was great at talking me through how the software works. In the press release, Carlos noted, “As a world leader in technology development, we are excited to be part of such an innovative, engaging exhibit at the Newseum,” said Carlos Montalvo, vice president, innovation programs, HP. Carlos continued, “The cutting-edge HP products on display in the New Media Gallery illustrate how technology can help create new forms of communication and information sharing, which is reshaping our news media and society.”
That’s not all you can experience at the gallery - there is so much more in the exhibit that patron’s can do. There is a “Choose the News” area, where I was able to build my own newspaper headline and instantly publish to a 23 foot-wide screen, powered by HP Photon Engine Solution. I was also able to play some interactive games in the “Game Zone.” The press release identified, “The “Game Zone” features motion-tracking technology that allows visitors to use hand gestures to answer questions that test their knowledge about social media.”
Also on April 27, the Newseum will launch newmedia.newseum.org. This is another way for patrons to share their experiences at the Newsuem. The website will allow visitors to download their gallery photos and custom-made news pages, participate in daily polls and comment on news events.
“The HP New Media Gallery will help Newseum visitors understand, in a fun and engaging way, how social networks and mobile devices have fundamentally altered the journalism landscape,” said Jim Duff, CEO of the Newseum in the press release announcing the exhibit. I couldn’t agree more – the implications of social media platforms have revolutionized citizen journalism.
This was a fascinating exhibit to see, and there are enormous implications for government with the technology that has powered the exhibit. What struck me as so amazing was the ease of collaboration with the tools. When I looked at the 23 foot-wide screens, I imagined the technology being used in crisis centers and war rooms, to quickly and efficiently collaborate in real time and help to inform decision makers. When you go to the Newsuem, I am sure you will have the same experience as me – not only has the exhibit provided a great window as to the impact of social media in society, but challenges you to think of future implications as well. With the speed that technology changes, it will be fascinating to check out the exhibit in 5 years.
Chris Dorobek talked with the Newseum's Senior Vice President for Broadcasting -- Paul Sparrow about the New Media Gallery.
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