Nothing Has a System

A New Exhibition at the Museum of Communication Tells Stories About “Nothing”. A System Recognises the Position and Orientation of Visitors in the Room and Provides Individual Narratives On-Site


The exhibition "Nothing" at the Museum of Communication does not aim to pose complicated philosophical questions, but rather to bring together many everyday moments in which we - on a small or large scale - are faced with "nothing". To ensure that visitors don't lose themselves in the variety of exhibits and stories, they wear a badge. It maintains a constant dialogue with a digital model of the exhibition and thus always knows where visitors are standing and in which direction they are looking. The recording of their path through the exhibition makes it possible to directly incorporate their behaviour into the story being told.

The Badge

The curators' challenge was to develop a course full of content that isn't the same for everyone and always offers exciting surprises. It is precisely this that the solution developed provides. The badge, which can be put on at the start of the tour, does more than just allow visitors to choose from the three available languages. As it always knows where visitors are standing and in which direction they are facing, it can be used to activate media stations without the need to press a button and incorporates the route visitors have already taken into the narrative.

The System in the Background

The badge is a newly developed component of iart's mixed reality platform. It is a framework that connects the real museum space with a digital model of the exhibition. The visitors themselves are mirrored by an avatar that simultaneously moves through the model as they wander through the exhibition. Media content (sound, video, light) is also available in the digital model - and can be fed directly into the real space. A vast amount of information is exchanged between the museum and its digital twin, creating a seamless narrative on site.

The Online Game

The mixed reality platform also offers playful access to the museum. This is because the digital model of the exhibition is part of a specially developed online game. If you find all the people who are currently in the real exhibition, you collect points and can use them to enable a rave in the physical museum. If there are no people in the exhibition, you can discover a variety of objects online.


The solution developed for the Museum of Communication points to future potential: exhibitions could generate an individualised experience for each visitor in real time. Just as a video game continuously generates the appearance of the perspective for each player, the information landscape of an exhibition could unfold in real time and be continually customised. With the help of artificial intelligence, this landscape could go beyond the selection of ready-made options. With the current state of technology, such scenarios are only just becoming conceivable. We will have to develop them step by step.

  • Opening


  • Location


  • Client

    Museum of Communication

  • Services

    PrototypingSystem DevelopmentSoftware DevelopmentSystem IntegrationCoordinationElectronics DevelopmentInteraction DevelopmentControllingMedia Technical Planning

  • Photos & Video Footage

    Fotos © Laurids Jensen

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