The power of technology is key in the RCMP Heritage Centre’s new interactive exhibit in Regina.
The exhibit, Sergeant Major’s Inspection, shows guests what it’s like as a cadet to have their room inspected.
The Heritage Centre partnered with Melcher Studios, an interactive agency based out of Regina and Saskatoon, to create the exhibit.
“You see everything in the room that portrays any type of hologram that you can actually interact with. With those holograms, we can actually add AI, artificial intelligence, so they can actually talk back to you, interact with you, that sort of thing,” said Dwayne Melcher, President of Melcher Studios.
In preparation, Sgt Maj. Francois Desfosses flew down from Ottawa where Melcher captured his mannerisms, like how he walks, before portraying him on a 3D avatar.
Dan Toppings, a retired Mountie, knows Desfosses personally. He said Desfosses is what a sergeant major should be like with a handlebar moustache, a gruff voice and demanding respect.
“The general public see police officers driving around in their police cars and they have no idea what training’s all about and how rigorous the training is,” he said. “I thought of what it was like for myself in training and having the sergeant major there and being nervous standing there doing this every morning.”
“It’s not like summer camp,” he said. Cadets must position their bed sheets within millimetres and can’t have dust on anything.
Also the manager of Guest Experience and Facilities, Toppings said he hopes the introduction of technology in the exhibits will attract kids: “A lot of our younger guests were our target audience, so we wanted to put things in that kids like–namely, technology.”
“Something like this with experiential tourism is where the future will be,” said CEO of the Heritage Centre, Marty Klyne.
This isn’t their only interactive exhibit. Others show guests how to ride horses using VR goggles and how to drive cars with a driving simulator.
All of these interactive exhibits are part of their Making a Mountie Gallery.
The project came to life with help from a one million dollar donation from Mosaic.
The idea came up about two and a half years ago but took a year to build before launching.