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Frequently Asked Questions

The buildings and vehicles in the kSpace theatre look 3-dimensional (3D). How do you make objects (including Smithy the Flying Wombat!) appear "real", not flat like on a computer monitor or television?

Let's do a quick experiment to understand the reason that we see 3D in everyday life. With one eye closed, hold a finger out in front of you at arm's length. Now, without moving your outstretched arm, close your open eye and open your closed eye. You should see your finger suddenly jump sideways relative to the background. It seems that each eye is seeing a different image. Your brain, shown these two different pictures at the same time, joins them together to make a single 3D image in your mind. In the kSpace theatre, our computer calculates and displays different movies for your left and right eye, carefully chosen to give the appearance that the 3D world you've created at the interactive workstations actually exists. Which is why you must wear special glasses ...

What is special about the glasses?

Without the glasses, the left-eye and right-eye movies would combine to give a blurred picture (as those of you who "peek" during the show can attest). To separate the movies, an infrared signal from the computer tells the glasses which image (left or right eye) is currently being shown on the screen. When the left-eye image is showing, an LCD shutter in the right lens momentarily closes blocking off the view so that your right eye never sees the left-eye movie. Conversely, when the right-eye movie is on-screen (half of the time), the left-eye shutter closes. As the shutters open and close sixty times each second, you don't observe any flickering.

The kangaroo in the show looked a little odd ...

That's "Robo-Roo", Australian car-maker Holden's crash-test kangaroo. For a time, Robo-Roo was a worldwide media sensation. More information about the real Robo-Roo.

The accompanying soundtrack is great ...

We were very lucky to have the Australian electronic band B(if)tek do the music. Did you spot the "Biftek Corporation" billboard in the kSpace theatre show?

Isn't an exhibit about "imagining the future" an odd one for a (social) history museum?

Well, ..., yes. In fact, the commissioning of kSpace required amending an Act of Parliament (external site) to "enable the NMA to exhibit material relating to Australia's future as well as its past".

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