Since 2012, Stimulant has been the Intel Museum’s interactive partner of record. We’ve developed over a dozen different interactive museum exhibits that cover a staggering range of content, from highlighting fifty-plus years of company and employee achievements, milestones and world’s firsts on interactive touchscreens, to making Moore’s Law and binary code understandable to schoolchildren, to interactively illustrating how the Internet of Things is improving the lives of millions today on a massive interactive touch wall. We’ve even used augmented reality to explain how chips are made and let visitors create personalized animated takewaways. In close partnership, we’ve helped Intel tell a variety of unique stories that carefully balance brand, education, and the right level of abstraction on highly technical topics.
Intel in many ways encompasses the canonical story of Silicon Valley, from its founders’ beginnings at Fairchild Semiconductor in the 60s to Intel’s current status as a global leader in processors. The Intel Museum’s mission is to present the history of the organization as well as to educate visitors about the company’s recent breakthroughs and future vision, through a variety of engaging physical and interactive exhibits. The museum is free and open to the public, and hosts 120,000 child and adult visitors per year.
Fifty-three years is a long time to be in business in Silicon Valley – it’s even more impressive when you were instrumental in creating Silicon Valley as we know it today. This touchscreen interactive includes artifacts, stories, events and breakthroughs from Intel’s storied history, giving visitors a unique insight into Intel’s past that’s not available anywhere else.
Moore’s Law is synonymous with Intel and it’s co-founder Gordon Moore. Moore’s Law refers to Moore’s perception that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. Moore’s Law states that we can expect the speed and capability of our computers to increase every couple of years, and we will pay less for them. This concept is sometimes difficult to comprehend, so we created a touchscreen interactive exhibit that uses playful metaphors to explain it at a 5th grade level.
The human brain isn’t capable of comprehending the size of objects at the scale at which modern processors are manufactured. To illustrate the absolutely microscopic scale at which Intel’s fab processes operate, we created a touchscreen museum exhibit that lets visitors zoom from a one-to-one scale of a physical processor all the way down to the nanometer level. The exhibit leverages a series of photos taken at various scales, including electron tunneling microscopy. The exhibit provides relevant milestones along the journey, such as the size of an ant or the width of a human air, for context.
A variety of materials are used in chipmaking, but they’re not necessarily materials that we all have experience with. To explain how processors control the flow of electricity, we designed a touchscreen interactive exhibit that lets visitors test their knowledge on a variety of common and uncommon materials. Conductors let electricity flow through and insulators prevent it – can you tell which is which?
Binary code is the language of processors – while software is written in higher level languages to make programming easier, chips talk in a series of ones and zeroes that represent the on and off states of switches. This hybrid physical/digital interactive museum exhibit teaches visitors how to express themselves in binary by teaching them to spell their names in letters formed with binary code.
Intel pioneered the chipmaking process and its fab facilities are still pinnacles of innovation and complexity. The chipmaking process is very complicated and difficult to explain, so we created an exhibit that uses augmented reality and animated 3D models to explain the process. Visitors use a large physical cube to advance through the exhibit. Each side of the cube represents a different step in the chipmaking process – at each step, an animated 3D model that illustrates the process is displayed on the screen. Visitors can rotate the model and look at it from different angles by moving the physical cube around in space with their hands – custom AR technology tracks the cube’s movements and turns the object into a controller.
Once they’ve learned about binary code, the next hurdle is understanding how modern processors actually, well, process. This interactive touchscreen exhibit uses the example of a card-guessing game to illustrate the logical steps that are computed to make this game work. From understanding keypresses to updating the graphical display on a monitor, each step is used to illustrate how a modern processor turns user input into meaningful output.
The cities of the future are wired for our benefit. From energy efficiency to traffic routing, Intel technologies are helping to power the cities of tomorrow. This interactive touch wall uses presence-sensing technology to recognize when visitors approach the wall. Once up close, a touch-driven experience talks visitors through different smart city scenarios. The experience supports up to four simultaneous users. A playful “bubble mode” rewards younger visitors too young to grasp the concepts.
5G is the next big communications technology to make an impact on our world. As the Internet of Things (IoT) starts to emerge, 5G is poised to enable connectivity between billions of connected devices in real-time. These include everything from self-driving cars to city-wide networks of sensors and smart devices. This interactive museum exhibit uses a physical “marble run” to show how 5G is not only faster than 4G networks, but supports greater bandwidth and throughput. There’s only one control – a glowing green button. Visitors press the button to release steel marbles, which run down a track and update digital displays positioned behind the track.
For its 50th anniversary, the museum commissioned an augmented reality exhibit to let visitors create digital mementos commemorating their visit. The exhibit lets visitors create and star in an animated video along with an object from Intel’s history (logos, products and even sixties-style hairdos and lab coats). Using AR, 3D models and skeleton tracking technology, visitors create a video selfie of them interacting with the virtual object. They are then able to send the video to their mobile phone. A moderation queue ensures that there’s an audit pass on every video created before sharing with the world.
Intel MuseumView Project