Human Origins


Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

New Haven, CT

Ever wonder what the difference is between modern humans and early hominids? These touchscreens, guided by video and narration, explore 15 different hominids (like Neanderthals and Australopithecus afarensis) and allow you to compare and rotate skulls side by side, and with Google Earth animations, see the countries where they were discovered.

Project Included:

  • Interactive programming
  • Graphic design
  • Video production, including chroma keying
  • Google Earth integration

More info

This exhibit utilizes two 24″ LCD touchscreens running a custom interactive program. Video from each touchscreen is duplicated on an upper screen to accommodate large crowds.

The custom program includes chroma-keyed video of curator Andrew Hill, who stands inside the program to point out different features of the hominid timeline. This allows for an easier-to-understand explanation of the timeline layout.

Each skull on the timeline is pressable, which then takes you to a section about that specific hominid. General information about the hominids is presented with narration, and a Google Earth video starts at the street level in New Haven (showing the Yale Peabody Museum), zooms out to show the globe, then zooms back into the places where specimens have been found.

Skull rotations allow visitors to rotate 3D hominid skulls to compare them to modern human and chimpanzee skulls, both horizontally and vertically.