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Interactive frog Touch Wall at Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town designed to immerse visitors in habitats of threatened frogs.

The Interactive frog Touch Wall is an educational media space at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, designed to immerse visitors in the wet habitats of threatened frogs through playful interaction. The installation fosters understanding of, and support for, endangered species. A new exhibition has been opened at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa with an iconic interactive frog touch-wall, which allows multiple visitors simultaneously to learn about frogs in the region.

The stars of the interactive display are critically endangered frog species such as Table Mountain Ghost Frog, Western leopard toad, and micro frog, the smallest frog in Africa, amongst others. The frog wall is an educational media space designed to immerse visitors in the wet habitat of frogs through playful interaction. The installation fosters understanding and support for endangered specieses. The explorative environment shows a super-realistic animated video composition representing all nine frog habitats of the Western Cape. Within and behind this interface lives a rich, seamless and explorable world of sound, video, photographs, animations, as well as text information.

The journey begins when visitors activate one of the habitats, revealing a 360 Deg panoramic view of a typical area. Now, the challenge is to discover the frog species living in the environment.When a frog icon has been found and touched, a number of things appear:

– the frog’s name and size,
– description and images,
– video clips and the call of the frog.

All objects on the screen can be moved around by dragging and dropping them, for example, to individual eye-level. Parents can facilitate for their children without having to lift them. Some objects can also be scaled using two fingers or hands.

The frogs’ calls are a source of great amusement to visitors. As multiple frog sounds can be simultaneously activated and deactivated, visitors can orchestrate entire frog symphonies, broadcast via a directional overhead speaker.

A number of threat alerts activate at random and freeze all other interaction with the screen. It is now up to the visitors to act quickly and touch the correct image, corresponding to a multiple choice question on common threats to frogs.
If the time runs out it may be too late to save the frogs.

In a nutshell, the low cost technology deployed in the interactive frog wall works as follows: The heart of this multi-touch setup is an 2 x 1.5 metre acrylic glass panel that is filled with infrared light. When visitors touch the panel, infrared light leaks through the touched area. This light is then registered via infrared camera, while software identifies the touched areas and responds accordingly.

Multi-touch technology allows many users to interact with one digital application, all at the same time. This stimulates play… and interaction between visitors. Elements can be rotated, dragged and modified by natural hand or finger gestures much like pointing and stretching.