MM Awards

Natural History Museum and Potato partner for blue whale digital experience

Tim Maytom


Web development firm Potato has teamed up with The Natural History Museum to launch a new digital experience aimed at promoting the reopening of the world famous museum’s spectacular central space Hintze Hall, and its latest star attraction – a blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.

The digital experience, accessible both online and via the NHM Visitor app for iOS and Android, invites audiences to discover more about the whale in both its natural and preserved environments. The app utilises a responsive image generator to balance image quality with data needs, ensuring a smooth experience for all users.

The web and mobile app enables visitors to discover more about the whale itself, as well as its journey from the ocean to the museum, the innovative techniques the Museum’s team have used to learn about its history, and the importance of the whale’s new position in Hintze Hall. Tailored atmospheric audio helps immerse the user in each scene, and mobile users can activate dynamic responses by tilting their phone or adjusting their position.

“We wanted to create a highly visual experience that would work in-gallery and on mobile, so that visitors could dive deeper into the background of this fascinating specimen at their own pace,” said Piers Jones, chief digital and product officer at the Museum.

“We also wanted to enable our global audience to explore elements of our blue whale’s astonishing story via our website, without compromising the experience for either viewer. Working with Potato has enabled us to meet that vision, and we look forward to exploring more opportunities to innovate in this way.”

“This digital experience means that an incredible installation is able to extend the physical gallery out into the broader world,” said Jason Cartwright, CEO of Potato. “Interactive and content-rich, it brings carefully curated information from The National History Museum – a leading science research centre – to a global audience.”

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