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Today, we unveiled our innovative new interactive film to the public. And if you haven't heard of augmented reality before, you will now.

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A Coelophysis dinosaur roams the Attenborough Studio in Who do you think you really are?

Who do you think you really are? tells the story of our evolutionary past and uses advanced technology to blend CGI graphics and a live video stream, to literally bring prehistoric creatures to life in the film's studio. It is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and projected on 3 large screens in the Attenborough Studio.

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From your seat in the studio, and using the attached unique handset (shown right), you'll interact with the film and witness creatures and objects from the film appear and move right in front of you.

 

A Coelophysis dinosaur (above) and Homo erectus will strut around you and an intricate tree of life stretch upwards majestically. It's the first time that augmented reality has been used in a public, learning space like this.

 

'We wanted to use a whole arsenal of media and technologies,' says Alisa Barry, our Interactive Department's director and executive producer of the film. 'We have peppered the studio with infra-red. This allows the camera in the handheld computers to track movements and position the animation correctly.'

 

In addition to the wow factor of the film, you'll learn a lot about exactly how we are related to prehistoric creatures and even bananas.

 

The film is showing daily in the Attenborough Studio and is free.

 

Find out about the interactive film, Who do you think you really are?

 

Read the news story about the interactive film

 

After you've been to the film, you can visit our NaturePlus community and sign in to explore more augmented reality on your home webcam and continue the film's evolutionary journey further.

 

Visit NaturePlus

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Sexual Nature is a forthcoming exhibition about sex in the natural world that's opening at the Museum in Spring.

 

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We’d like to ask your help with the final section which is about human sexuality.

 

For example, we’d like to know which objects you think signify a sexually attractive trait.

 

Now, I'd probably say he's got to be cool and so suggest a pair of sunglasses to symbolise this. Others might opt for a finely-honed torso and suggest some dumbells, or the lads among us might go for... well who knows, you tell us!

 

If you want to take part in the survey, you have to be over 16. It’s completely anonymous. And bear in mind this is a Natural History Museum exhibition.

 

Take part in the online Sexual Nature survey

 

At the end of the week that Wills and Kate announced their wedding plans, what better time to be thinking about your perfect mate.

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It was a star-studded week for the Museum's Ice Rink which opened to the public last Friday.

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Singer Leona Lewis performed on the stage overlooking the rink, along with popular boy band The Wanted (above), while skaters spun gracefully on the ice.

 

The stars were here to launch the exciting Kinect for Xbox 360. The new Kinect motion-sensor gaming system uses revolutionary technology to make it a controller-free gaming experience - you become the controller with a wave of your hand or the sound of your voice.

 

Among the other stars who tried out Kinect on the night, was TV presenter Kate Thornton (pictured below).

 

And the great news is that you can try out Kinect in the Ice Rink's Café Bar - there are 2 consoles and helpers to hand.

 

During the event The Wanted boys also took to the ice for a photo shoot (shown below).

 

Alex Lawson, our Development manager who helped organise the launch describes the event:

 

"It was possibly the busiest run-up to an event I've ever seen. The logistics of building stages and platforms on ice in a matter of days were mind-boggling. But it was a great success. Although I think I should have had a pedometer on the night - would love to know how much I walked - at least  miles?!

 

"The stars even got to enjoy a brief glimpse behind the scenes at the Museum as we walked them round to the Ice Rink site past possibly the oldest object on the planet in our collection - the 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite in the Mineralogy collection."

 

Read the news story about the Stars on ice Kinect launch

 

Find out about the Ice Rink

 

Enjoy these pictures from the night. Select the photos to enlarge them.

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Leona Lewis and her band performing at the Kinect launch at the Museum's Ice Rink

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Leona Lewis performs

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Boy band The Wanted on stage

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Need a penguin helper Wanted boys? And skates might help.

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The Museum stunningly lit up for the occasion

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TV presenter Kate Thornton has a go on Kinect

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Hollyoaks actors Matt Liddler (Max) and Darren Jeffries (OB) posing.

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Our flaptastic Ice Rink opens

Posted by Rose Nov 4, 2010

It's the 6th year running that we welcome the Ice Rink to the Museum's lawns. Since launching in 2005, it has become a much-loved part of London's winter scene and a magical event that attracts many visitors, old and young, from near, far and wide. It opens to the public on Bonfire Night.

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The flaptastic news this year is the arrival of 50 penguins who join us as skating aids (shown above). Of course, these aren't real penguins, but stabilisers for kids on the ice and available for up to 8 years (£4 to hire). No excuses this year then, kids. For adults there are friendly and unflappable ice marshals.

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Once again this year, the vintage carousel beams out to all children 'hop on a horse for a fun ride'. (Select the images to enlarge them.)

 

Later tonight I hope to be enjoying mulled wine (supposedly the best there is) at the launch preview in the Café Bar overlooking the winter wonderland. The Great British Barbershop Boys will be there to serenade guests and maybe my colleagues and I will even attempt a tentative skate on that virginal ice! Along with rumoured celebs like comic Bobby Davro and TV presenter Miquita Oliver..?

 

Get skating or spectating out there when it opens, we love seeing you practising your synchronised moves on our way in and out of work. And remember if you're a student, take advantage of the Special ticket price + free drink offer on Mondays and Tuesday until 7 December 2010.

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