Frankfurt - Frankfurt's Senckenberg Natural History Museum has brought in new technology to bring dinosaurs back to life.
By donning special goggles, visitors can dive into prehistory for minutes at a time.
From mid-December visitors to one of the major European dinosaur museums will be able to meet the long-necked Diplodocus face-to-face. For those with a more traditional approach to palaeontology, his fossilised skeleton is also in the museum's collection.
The high-tech encounter is the result of work by Alexander Oster, who created a 3D film as an originally academic project in time-based media studies. It opens up a view on “living” dinosaurs, ending with the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.
Museum director Bernd Herkner sees this as just the start in the use of virtual tools at the Senckenberg, which is shaking off a long-time reputation as building full of dusty bones badly in need of an update.
“Linked to the museum's conversion we want to make increased use of new technologies,” he says. “We have as a museum to move with the times - and that means that we cannot get around virtual reality.”
But he insists that the German museum, a major funder of research and digs, will continue to deal with real reality. “The technology is there to complement our artifacts and not to compete with them,” Herkner says.