Gallery ›› FrameGlide Software with Spin Browser Dial ››
Worcester EcoTarium, A Day in the Life of a Starfish

SOMERVILLE, MA., December 15, 2005 - TechnoFrolics collaborated with the EcoTarium of Worcester, MA to add real-time capture of a live camera feed to its existing innovative Spin Browser video explorer technology.

The EcoTarium exhibit allows visitors to explore the daily activity inside a tank containing starfish, snails, and other varied forms of sealife. Using a dial, they are able to spool back and forth through the history of the tank at their own pace. The live camera feed is continuously recorded at 30 fps (640x480 NTSC) for a full 24 hours into the past, while simultaneously retaining the fluid motion characteristic of the Spin Browser video explorer. Unlike previous installations which relied on manually-preprocessed footage, the current design requires no human intervention..


"We are always striving for exhibits that provide multiple entry points and open-ended exploration for people of different ages and interests. The Spin Browser functioning is immediately clear and captivating to a group of 7 year olds, yet it allows the careful, detailed examination of animal behavior that engages the interest of professionally trained biologists - not to mention our animal care staff.

The real time Spin Browser is one of those rare exhibits that captures visitors for extended periods. Many times I have walked past the spinner and seen a family enjoying it, exploring the daily movements of starfish, snails, and other tank creatures. When I'm returning from my errand 5-10 minutes later, they are still there. We normally measure exhibit dwell time in seconds, not minutes!"

Alexander Goldowsky, Director of Programs and Exhibits, EcoTarium


"There has been a strong need for the integration of real-time capture capabilities with the Spin Brower viewing system," says TechnoFrolics' director David Durlach. "This enhancement opens up whole new areas of application that go beyond observing animal behavior. Interactive museum exhibits could utilize high-speed video capture to allow users, for example, to toss a pebble into a pool of water, then use the browser to instantly trace the motion of the burst of water in elaborate detail." The technology also has applications beyond the realm of the museum. "Medical students and surgeons will be able to review and analyze operating room technique during the procedure. Security personnel, sports trainers, laboratory researchers, and test engineers all stand to benefit from this development."

Timelapse capture offers exciting possibilities as well. "Seasonal change could be viewed over an entire year, up to and including the very day of operation," Durlach suggests. "And in the animal category, imagine being able to rewind the entire life of, say, a chicken. From the adult chicken you see live right before your eyes, back to a chick, all the way back to an egg."