Silverlight & Te Papa

It was 6 months ago to the day that I first wrote about a workshop that we ran in Wellington getting a group of likeminded designers & developers together to get hands on with Windows 7, Silverlight 3, WPF & Expression 3 preceding the launch of these technologies. At the time I specifically called out Tim Tait & the work that he was doing at Te Papa. A couple of months later we released Silverlight 3 and I created a video of some awesome projects from NZ & Abroad using Silverlight + Expression.

I don’t know what it is about museums and their thirst to adopt the latest technology but I previously blogged about Click Suite building an interactive kiosk for Auckland Museum using Windows 7 & WPF. This time it is Te Papa’s turn!

This week while I was down in Wellington I checked in with Tim to see Te Papa’s latest exhibition & his latest work.

Kura Pounamu is a rich and exciting exhibition showcasing examples of this exceptionally beautiful stone, its origins, and stories of the special relationship people have with pounamu.

Explore this website to find out what can be seen and
experienced in the exhibition.

 The  exhibition is on display now in the museum. If you are in Wellington I recommend you call in and take a look… it’s free!

The exhibition showcases in great detail hundreds of stone carvings from Te Papa's collection. The installation consists of a single touch screen and an attached LCD monitor giving you the ability to quickly explore the collection with no more than your finger. The technology at play behind the display is a web browser running Silverlight 3 hardware accelerated in full screen mode.

I was impressed with now responsive & fluid the interface is to use. The computer on the museum floor is switched off nightly to save power and Tim was telling me that it hasn't crashed once (touch wood) in the the weeks it has been live. Also during Tim's testing he ran it for a week continuously without any increase in memory or performance degradation!

The best part is that since this exhibition is built on Silverlight it is also possible to make the experience available via the Te Papa website. I have been given a sneak peak of this and Tim tells me that it will be launching publicly in the coming days so I will make sure to link it up when it does.

It's LIVE! -

The future?

I have already seen a sneak peak of Te Papa’s next exhibition that will feature Silverlight and is due early next year and all I can say is that it is just as stunning.

This coupled with today's announcements at the PDC conference in LA that we have shipped a beta of Silverlight 4 I truly believe that the potential of this technology moving forward is unmatched by anything else in the market.