The National Holocaust Centre and Museum

June 5, 2018

Technology shines a perpetual, informative light on dark events that should never be forgotten

OVERVIEW

The National Holocaust Centre and Museum commemorates a dark period in world history. By telling the stories of the survivors in a compelling way, the Centre provides a permanent memorial to the victims and survivors while also raising understanding and awareness of the problems of contemporary hate crimes. Technology was used to capture testimonies from survivors and present them through an interactive lifesize 3D image. The ‘survivor’ sits in a small room in the Centre and responds to visitors’ questions.

Working with design agency Bright White and interactive developer D3t, Electrosonic was responsible for developing a presentation system that would be as lifelike as possible. The relatively small room space meant that an innovative projection system would be essential. The presentation drew on more than 1000 testimonies and had to be capable of responding with minimal delay to questions from visitors of any age with an appropriate story. 

Lifelike 3D representations of survivors respond to individual questions from visitors.

SOLUTION

The design team developed over 1000 questions and linked them to appropriate video responses. The audiovisual sequences are hosted on a server and a combination of speech recognition technology, machine learning and an algorithm matches responses to questions. The survivors were filmed using 3D 4K technology to enable 3D rear projection into the virtual room. A high-end audio system captures questions and provides a clear response.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Innovative technology is bringing Holocaust survivors’ stories to life and enabling visitors to find out about events from their own perspective. Recording memories from older survivors means that future generations can share the experiences. Interactive technology and the question/response approach provide an engaging person-to-person connection that makes the storytelling more compelling. The experience is also giving visitors a better understanding of issues like propaganda, racism and prejudice.

"We had some great team members on this project. The first was Electrosonic who did a great job of designing the audiovisual hardware. It’s incredibly complex: way more complex than anything we’ve ever worked on before. I think it was probably one of the most complex systems they’ve ever worked on, too." - Chris Walker, Director Bright White

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