Our Night at the Museum

By Sheri Bebb, Vice President of Organization Effectiveness, NetApp

No, we didn’t spend the night, but it was hard to leave the Tech Museum of Innovation as we explored the digital versions of ourselves at the recent grand opening of the museum’s new Body Metrics exhibition. Presented by Kaiser Permanente, with NetApp as the technology sponsor, this new permanent exhibition focuses on the intersection of technology and wellness.

This exhibit is unlike any other I have visited. Body Metrics is being referred to as the first of its kind and the most technologically ambitious exhibit a science museum has probably ever done. If you can’t make it to the exhibit anytime soon, don’t worry-you can get a preview of it in the meantime here.

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                                                                                                 VIP attendees at the Body Metrics exhibit participate by exploring the digital versions of themselves. 

Body Metrics

Body Metrics leverages wearable technology combined with data collection and analysis that gives museum visitors insight into their physical, social and emotional selves while providing healthcare insights. The wearable technology used for this exhibit goes beyond everyday wearable tech gadgets. Upon arrival, visitors are outfitted with a Sensor Kit that includes three customized wearable devices:

  • Smartphone—stores data about every interaction and takes time-lapse photographs to build a social and emotional data pool
  • Wireless Headset—measures brain waves
  • Muscle and Heart Sensor—worn on the shoulder, measures tension while identifying the source

Once visitors have the wearable technology on, they interact at various places within the exhibition. The wearable technology collects data to track metrics in real time – activity level, mental focus, talkativeness, attitude, tension and the number of people nearby.

After touring the exhibit, the visitors’ experience becomes even more interactive at the data pool, where they place their smartphone on a 12-foot LCD screen. Instantly, the screen displays data streams from the entire visit including how visitors reacted to everything they saw and felt. Visitors are encouraged to wear the sensor kit throughout other exhibits at the museum as well, in order to see how they react to different situations.

When visitors explore these metrics within their own bodies, they tend to discover what they can do to make meaningful changes to improve their physical and mental well-being. Want to know more? Learn more about the exhibition and how it’s all about you!

Technology Sponsor

At the opening event, Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum, talked about a five-year institutional transformation that is redefining The Tech as a Silicon Valley resource for Innovation. As a provider of storage, systems and services to leading organizations worldwide, NetApp is proud to support this transformation as the official technology sponsor of the Body Metrics exhibition.

Data plays a critical role in this exhibition and as such, NetApp donated flash-accelerated, high performance shared storage infrastructure systems that run the company’s clustered Data ONTAP operating system. Not only do these technologies support the Body Metrics exhibit but also additional storage needs at The Tech. Furthermore, the NetApp technology donated reduces costs, provides high availability of systems critical to operations, enables scalability and improves performance without impact to the storage users.

It Takes a Team

A team of NetApp employees helped to make this sponsorship and exhibition possible. Through the company’s volunteer time off (VTO) benefit, passionate NetApp employee volunteers provide ongoing support to The Tech to enhance visitor experiences.

A special thank you to Dan Warmenhoven, former NetApp CEO and Chairman. Dan currently serves as vice chair on the Board of Directors for the Tech Museum and his support of this sponsorship and donation was invaluable.

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                                                              Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum, speaks to attendees at the grand opening of the Body Metrics exhibition.

We invite you to join us at the Tech for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore your digital self and improve your well being at the new Body Metrics exhibit!

For additional information on the Body Metrics exhibit, please go to: http://www.thetech.org/bodymetrics/#media

Photos by: Na'im Beyah