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Every October, Boston hosts the MIT HUBweek festival, a collaborative event by MIT, Harvard University, the Boston Globe, and Massachusetts General Hospital. This unique festival serves as a convergence point for researchers, creators, and innovators, offering a platform to explore the fusion of art, technology, science, and social impact. One of the standout attractions at HUBweek was an immersive historical exhibition, which aimed to present the rich history of the Boston Globe newspaper in a captivating and unconventional manner.

The Challenge

The Boston Globe, an iconic American newspaper with roots dating back to the 19th century, faced the challenge of presenting its extensive history in a way that would resonate with modern audiences attending the HUBweek festival. Given the event’s emphasis on innovation and technology, the presentation needed to be engaging and technologically advanced.

The Solution

To address this challenge, the Boston Globe decided to utilize the fulldome format, known for its immersive capabilities. The company turned to Freedomes, a provider of geodesic domes and hardware installation services, to create the physical structure for the immersive experience. The Inphantry Agency was enlisted to create the content, which comprised a stunning video showcasing over a century of newspaper history through significant articles and milestones.

Automated Fulldome Conversion

The tight timeline for the project left little room for manual conversion work. To overcome this, a fulldome video player was employed to automate the conversion of the video content into the fulldome format. This innovative solution streamlined the process and ensured that the historical footage would be seamlessly presented within the immersive dome. The same fulldome video player was responsible for playing the converted video throughout the exhibition.

Immersive Engagement

The immersive dome provided an unparalleled experience for visitors. Attendees could enter the dome and immediately find themselves transported into a virtual space, all without the need for special headphones or additional devices. Over the course of two days, approximately 5,000 visitors had the opportunity to explore the historical milestones of the Boston Globe Foundation. The immersive presentation left a lasting impact on the attendees and garnered significant attention from journalists covering the event.

Media Recognition

The success of this immersive history presentation did not go unnoticed. It received notable mentions in the media and was featured in the MIT HUBweek review. The innovative use of technology to narrate the newspaper’s extensive history left a lasting impression, demonstrating the power of combining art, technology, and storytelling to engage audiences in a unique and meaningful way.