Virtually real experiences
SA startup taking local and international museums by storm
An enterprising Cape Town-based company has produced hi-tech exhibits of the natural world for a US museum
ENTREPRENEUR: Michael Wolf, CEO and founder of Formula D. One exhibit, River of Grass, makes the experience of being in the everglades wetlands come alive. To achieve this Formula D used 16 projectors, directional audio and seven motion-tracking sensors. Similar technology was used by Formula D to create the Virtual Gulf Stream Aquarium, which allows people to interact with animated sea creatures. Visitors are able to get a shark’s-eye view of its environment, for example. “We want people to learn about [a shark’s] senses,” says Wolf. And they do, right down to its sense of sight and smell and the electromagnetic field it detects when hunting. The exhibit last year earned Formula D the prestigious Red Dot award for user-experience design. The Miami museum contract is a major breakthrough for Formula D, which competed against 15 interactive design firms. “We are pushing hard to go international to a greater extent,” says Wolf. “After the Miami project more eyes will be on us.” The co...