Located in Times Square, Gulliver’s Gate invites visitors to see the entire world, within a space no larger than a football field. The museum presents continents from around the world in miniature form, with landmarks from each region designed and created in their country of origin. Réalisations was asked to create interactive tools to engage the audience throughout the entire museum in addition to the design and construction of a scale model of Niagara Falls, to represent Canada in the exhibit.
The project required that the designs be suitable and engaging for a wide variety of audiences, while providing interactive elements that invite Gulliver’s Gate visitors to engage with the exhibits beyond simply looking at the 3-D models.
One of the challenges in creating the miniature Niagara Falls was to engage the senses of Gulliver’s Gate visitors in the same way that Niagara Falls, as epic in scale as it is in renown, does for the real life viewer. To achieve this, Réalisations worked with videos shot from drones as high as 400 feet above the falls. This footage was then layered together and is transmitted from 5 projectors onto the 3-D model of Niagara Falls, bringing a sense of movement and life to the maquette. To further the sensory viewing experience, a mist machine is built into the base of the falls while a sound recording of the natural falls plays in the background.
In addition, a photo booth adjacent to the model invites guests to “jump in the falls”. Visitors are asked to stand in front of the camera, after which point their photo is integrated into the thousands of pixels that make up the falls.
Réalisations also created an RFID system for use throughout all the exhibitions, to allow guests to actively participate in the miniature world around them. With the purchase of a a ticket, guests also receive an RFID-encoded key. This key is used to literally unlock specific physical responses with models throughout the museum. Réalisations created 80 kiosks (30 with screens and 50 without) with keyholes, where the keys can be inserted and turned either left or right to trigger two different site-specific actions, for example; a miniature train setting out of the station, or the start of a video on the kiosk itself. By turning their keys in either direction at the Niagara Falls model, viewers change the season of the scene; wildlife sounds and the projected images themselves transform to reflect the time of year. In addition to enhancing the visitor experience, these keys can be used by the museum administration as a means of tracking data to see how each visitor is engaging with the different exhibits.
Gulliver's Gate has captured the imagination of the public and press since the early stages of its development. In working on this project Réalisations has brought interactive elements to the museum as a whole, and given life one of Canada's most spectacular landmarks. The models in Gulliver's Gate take the viewer on a journey around the world through interactive design and technology, giving visitors a world to discover right in the heart of Times Square.