A New App Makes Those Dino Posters Around Town Go 3D

The Natural History Museum's 100th anniversary goes high tech.

Augmented reality demos have been quite the rage online for some time, no doubt. Just point a smartphone's camera and see both the object you're pointing at and some CG-type features describing, enhancing, or augmenting that image.

Many of us, though, haven't yet put augmented reality into play on our own phones, but the Natural History Museum just made that easier. Easier and way, way cooler. So you know those 100th anniversary posters around town, the ones with the mammoth in silhouette or the dino skeleton? Turns out there's a secret 3D element to those posters, and a new free app'll unleash it.

The museum partnered with Blippar and creative brains Long House to create the app that turns all of the NHM posters into mini three-dimensional experiences. You can find the app at the iPhone store or Google Play.

But the Natural History Museum, which has a mammoth-sized load of stuff planned for its centennial celebration in June, is going one better. If you download the app you have a chance to enter a sweepstakes that could nab you, wait for it, a night at the museum.

Oh golly. Sleepovering inside one of our city's most venerable institutions? Mere steps from the elephant and hippopotamus dioramas? Too. Much. Joy.

(Question: Do the T. Rex skeletons rock some feetie jammies after-hours? We have theories.)

Even if you don't win, bet you'll be glad you've jumped into the world of augmented reality. And isn't it cooler that your first augreal app is themed to ancient animals? There's something a little fun and awesomely sci-fi about seeing a long-extinct reptile come to life, on a poster, via your phone, in, like, the middle of the Valley. 

Or even online -- yep, you can hold it up to your computer screen, too, to see the mammothy magic.

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