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High-performance custom displays from Kopin Corp. (Taunton, MA) are putting visitors to the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan, within footsteps of some of the world's most endangered species living in a simulated environment.
It is part of an entertainment exhibit called "Nature Contact," an interactive mixed-reality ride that takes visitors to five separate habitats within the Hitachi Group's Expo Pavilion.
Visitors to the exhibit see the animals through an AdventureScope, a binocular viewer that shows crisp, full-color images to the visitors as they arrive at each endangered animal's habitat. Each habitat has a physical structure inhabited by realistic, computer-generated
3-D images of endangered animals, such as sea turtles, seals and porpoises. Through the AdventureScope, animals appear as lifelike computer-generated images moving inside the dioramas. The animals react to the viewer's hand movements, providing a unique interactive experience.
The ride is a highlight of Hitachi's presence at the Expo, which opened on March 25. Event organizers says that the exhibit is the first time that mixed reality -- computer-generated creatures in real-life environments -- has been used in such an entertainment context. According to initial surveys, the Hitachi Pavilion has been rated among the best venues at the Expo, attracting more than 8,000 visitors per day.