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Innovation at the McCord Museum:
Interactive 3D Station
Manipulate Without Touching!
Montreal, Thursday, November 20, 2008 – The McCord Museum introduces an exciting and innovative
initiative: a “touchless” interactive station that presents 3D content with an historical theme.This one-of-a-
kind experience allows visitors to manipulate and examine objects from the McCord’s collections without
touching them at all. A simple hand gesture is all that’s required. It’s a first in Canada!
Entitled Air, Land, Sea: A Story About Exploration!, the interactive station is accessible to all visitors to the
McCord Museum in Montreal. The initiative is part of a pilot project jointly carried out by the McCord
Museum and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), a special operating agency within the
Department of Canadian Heritage that also manages the Virtual Museum of Canada. An overview of the
project is currently being produced by CHIN and will be available at www.virtualmuseum.ca in spring
Marie-Claude Larouche, Head, New Media, at the McCord, explains that as part of an ongoing effort to
promote and optimize access to the Museum’s collections, “the objective of this project was to test 3D
digitization technologies and study access mechanisms for the general public using an innovative device
available to all. The results of this experiment will be shared by CHIN with the entire Canadian museum
Using simple hand gestures and without even touching the screen, visitors are invited to enlarge and exam-
ine digitized 3D objects in detail. These objects range from toys and antique instruments to practical and
decorative artefacts, and all are associated with exploration. In addition to being able to directly manipulate
the images, visitors can consult fact sheets, view video clips, and examine historic and contemporary illus-
trations associated with the 3D objects.
“The station is a little like having a giant iPod Touch,” adds Ms. Larouche. “Visitors have an opportunity to
view detailed aspects of the artefacts that they would otherwise not be able to see. The objects can be
viewed from a variety of angles and from multiple access points.”
The 3D station was built through a collaborative effort with a number of invaluable Canadian partners, all
leaders in their fields, such as the Canadian National Research Council Institute for Information Technol-
ogy, the Canadian Space Agency, Canadian Museum of Nature and Quebec firm Simbioz.
The McCord Museum
The McCord Museum is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, dif-
fusion and appreciation of Canadian history. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the McCord is
home to one of the finest historical collections in North America. It possesses some of Canada’s most
significant cultural treasures, including the most comprehensive collection of clothing made or worn in
Canada; an extensive collection related to Aboriginal history and art; and the renowned Notman Photo-
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This project was made possible through the participation of many partners, including:
Canadian Heritage Information Network
As a special operating agency within the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Heritage Infor-
mation Network is a national centre of excellence that enables Canada’s museums to engage audiences
through the use of innovative technology. CHIN also manages the site Virtual Museum of Canada (www.
virtualmuseum.ca), a groundbreaking gateway and the result of a strong partnership with Canada’s vast
Canadian National Research Council Institute for Information Technology
Recognized internationally, the National Research Council for Canada (NRC) is the Government of Can-
ada’s premier organization for research and development. It works with industrial, governmental and aca-
demic partners to stimulate innovation in our national communities and to give Canadian companies a
competitive edge in the current market.
Canadian Space Agency
Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) coordinates all civil, space-related policies and pro-
grams on behalf of the Government of Canada. CSA directs its resources and activities through four key
thrusts: earth observation, space science and exploration, satellite communications, and space awareness
and learning. By leveraging national and international cooperation, the CSA generates world-class scientific
research and industrial development for the benefit of humanity.
Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada’s leading natural sciences and natural history museum. It has
established a brand new 3D Imaging Centre as a service for the museum and heritage communities. The
Centre comprises the world’s leading three-dimensional laser scanning technology and trained technicians
who are experts in the needs of collections-based institutions. The Centre offers museums and heritage
agencies exciting new ways to create precise, three-dimensional, true-colour, digital records of unique ar-
tefacts and specimens.
Simbioz is a multimedia firm founded in Montreal in 2000 by graphic designer-technologists Bernard Mer-
cier, Dominique St-Pierre and Mathieu Frenette. It specializes in the development of interactive touchless
systems and software as well as avant-garde multimedia platforms.
For more information, please contact:
Coordinator, Medias Relations & Advertising
514-398-7100 ext 305
The McCord wishes to acknowledge the support of the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine,
the Conseil des arts de Montréal and our media partners; The Gazette & La Presse
690 SHERBROOKE STREET WEST, MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC, CANADA H3A 1E9
Tel: (514) 398-7100 Fax: (514) 398-5045 E-mail: email@example.com www.mccord-museum.qc.ca