NATURE AND INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

OAK POINT PARK NATURE AND RETREAT CENTER, PLANO, TEXAS (USA)

The City of Plano, Texas (USA)

2015

Nestled lakeside within Texas’ largest park is the new visitor’s center of the award winning Oak Point Park in the city of Plano. The park’s scientific and interpretative teams were looking for an innovative way to highlight the park’s many natural and recreational features as a focal point of the centre. They wanted to inform guests on the location of the park's many attributes spread over an 800 acre area and they also wanted to be able to educate visitors on the park’s history, the plants and animals that call Oak Point home and the hydrological and geological features that make Oak Point Park unique.

 

The project needed to combine elements of wayfinding with an engaging method of transmitting over two dozen scientific themes to a varied demographic of guests. There was also an additional requirement that the technology used would allow park staff to easily update information by adding new video files to the system and could be easily maintained. 

OAK POINT PARK NATURE AND RETREAT CENTER PLANO, TEXAS
OAK POINT PARK NATURE AND RETREAT CENTER PLANO, TEXAS
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A 14’ wide table at the base of this tree represents a 3D relief map of the park.
<p style="text-align: center;">A 14&rsquo; wide table at the base of this tree represents a 3D relief map of the park.</p>
Réalisations designed a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit, fashioned like a giant oak tree, that combines both nature and technology where park guests can learn about Oak Point Park.
<p style="text-align: justify;">R&eacute;alisations designed a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit, fashioned like a giant oak tree, that combines both nature and technology where park guests can learn about Oak Point Park.</p>

Réalisations designed a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit, fashioned like a giant oak tree, that combines both nature and technology where park guests can learn about Oak Point Park. A 14’ wide table at the base of this tree represents a 3D relief map of the park. Realisations created an aerial map of the park which serves as the basis for the visual graphic that is projected from above by two projectors onto the table’s 3D surface. Five items atop the table, such as rocks and other materials from the park, serve as 3D triggers for scientific content.

 

All five objects can be activated at the same time allowing multiple groups to explore the park’s features simultaneously. To achieve this level of multi channel real time interactivity, Realisations uses its proprietary SENS.ei software.

SENS.ei allows multiple input or trigger devices to activate a wide range of output sources- video projection and audio are just two examples. With the SENS.ei system, input trigger devices can take many shapes. Mounted in the tree above the table, the sensors are programmed in SENS.ei to overlay a detection field over the table.

 

A CNC machine was used to carve the actual features of the landscape into the table.

Mounted in the tree above the table, the sensors are programmed in SENS.ei to overlay a detection field over the table.
<p style="text-align: justify;">Mounted in the tree above the table, the sensors are programmed in SENS.ei to overlay a detection field over the table.</p>
Actual rocks and materials from the park serve as 3D triggers for scientific content.
<p style="text-align: justify;">Actual rocks and materials&nbsp;from the park serve as 3D triggers for scientific content.</p>
The project needed to combine elements of wayfinding with an engaging method of transmitting over two dozen scientific themes to a varied demographic of guests.
<p style="text-align: justify;">The project needed to combine elements of wayfinding with an engaging method of transmitting over two dozen scientific themes to a varied demographic of guests.</p>
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, Plano's largest park, is an 800-acre park.
<p><span lang="EN">Spanning 800 acres, Oak Point Park &amp; Nature Preserve is Plano's largest park.</span></p>
The park boasts 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft surface trails located along Rowlett Creek.
<p style="text-align: left;">The park boasts 5 miles of soft surface trails located along Rowlett Creek.</p>
Oak Point Park's entrance.
<p style="text-align: left;">Entrance of Oak Point Park.</p>
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Réalisations was awarded for this project:

The Gold Medal Grand Award 2015, from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)