by Hugh McDonald, Producer
Many people know Albuquerque as the hot-air ballooning capital of the world. The Duke City’s clear skies and fair winds make colorful balloons a common and welcome sight against the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains. Albuquerque’s Anderson-Abruzzo Balloon Museum lets guests explore the science and beauty of ballooning and other innovative and unusual forms of flight. And when the Museum’s new Weather Lab opened this August, the exhibition featured two new interactive exhibits from Ideum.
The Cloud Atlas exhibit lets you investigate the clouds soaring overhead. Running on a 55” Ideum 4K Ultra HD Presenter Touch display in a vertical orientation, the exhibit opens the world of clouds to active exploration: how they form and develop, how high they float, and the key features that let you identify them. No longer just generic “clouds,” they’re now wispy cirrus, sheets of stratus, puffy cumulus, and storm-threatening cumulonimbus.
Another new Ideum experience sheds light on the famous “Albuquerque Box,” the unique combination of topography and wind patterns that makes the city so congenial for balloonists. By using their knowledge of the Box, hot-air balloonists can navigate the skies over central new Mexico by selecting one altitude to fly in one direction and another altitude to change course. This engaging exhibit lets you design your own craft and launch it on a journey over the Sandias, learning about the interaction between balloon technology, geography, and weather.
In the Weather Lab, two custom displays flank a large wall projection. This installation allows multiple users to interact simultaneously, designing their custom balloons and then watching them float at various altitudes in the Albuquerque Box. Ideum worked closely with the Balloon Museum to design the interactives, and we also designed and built the custom displays and provided the AV services for the installation.
This isn’t Ideum’s first foray into the magic of ballooning. New Mexico’s love affair with the sport culminates every October at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and we developed an exciting balloon competition game for that spectacular event in 2016. We’re committed to developing new ways to let people explore the world around them—and above them!