Visitors move through distinct sections of the exhibit where they learn about energy efficiency and smart devices for their homes, the upgraded technology and sustainability of the smart grid, and changes they can witness across the city. Fifteen media experiences including large-scale theaters, touchscreen stations, and animated videos take them from area to area.
A few highlights:
At a series of three interactive STEM Challenges, visitors role-play as technical experts, learning about the problem-solving behind energy efficiency, repairing a power outage, and pinpointing prime locations for rooftop solar panels. In each story, visitors advance through a series of graphic-novel style illustrations to complete their task.
At several stops along the way, visitors meet the people behind the energy system, from construction workers to data analysts. One highlight is an up-close look at the work of an overhead electrician. RLMG filmed a ComEd employee climbing a 40-foot electrical pole in order to create an immersive experience. Visitors can check out the view for themselves in 3D, and look down if they dare!
At the end of the exhibit, visitors enter the Your Impact zone, where they are invited to consider their own role in making Northern Illinois more connected, resilient, and green. At a touchscreen, visitors choose actions they can take in a number of categories – environment, transportation, education, and more – to build an individual “sustainability signature”. These visual signatures are sent to a dynamic, 25-foot wide data visualization where visitors can see their actions join with others, reinforcing their role in the transition to a smart city.