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Biodiversity museum chooses Canon to bring natural history collection to life

The Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands has reopened to the public after a renovation project costing around €70 million.

The centre now features 22 Canon XEED WUX5800Z and XEED WUX6600Z LCOS installation projectors across its four exhibits. The discreetly positioned projectors have enabled Naturalis to create enhanced immersive exhibitions, offering visitors a unique experience that breathes life into one of the largest natural history collections in the world.

Berry Wijnen, business development manager projectors, Canon BeNeLux said: “Today, museums are no longer just competing with other museums but also with other entertainment platforms, like streaming services, that people spend their time enjoying. As a result, we are seeing museums transition from a look and read model to adopting projectors that can deliver more engaging and immersive experiences. Naturalis is a great example of this digital storytelling – you aren’t just reading a sign, but you are experiencing history.”

Following a tender process which began at ISE 2018, Naturalis and its system integrator – Ata Tech – selected Canon projectors for their versatility. With ambitious designs for each of the museum’s exhibitions, it was essential that the projectors used were high brightness, incredible image quality and employed a large lens shift.

Ata Tech selected the XEED WUX5800Z and XEED WUX6600Z LCOS projectors – high-brightness and high-resolution models compatible with seven different motorised lenses, offering flexibility for different exhibitions’ projection requirements.

These projectors are capable of a very large lens shift, which was essential in both the permanent Death and Dino exhibitions at Naturalis, where the integrators needed to avoid shadows being cast by visitors and skeletons.

The Death exhibit is home to one of the first 360° projection installations in Europe. This unique installation stacks five XEED WUX5800Z projectors on top of one another at the centre of the room – avoiding crossfire of projections that could lead to distorted images. With Canon’s edge-blending technology the images from each projector are seamlessly connected with accurate pixel positioning delivering a continuous image.

To maintain a simple AV infrastructure and reduce maintenance requirements and costs, Ata Tech employed just two models of projectors, which were versatile enough to achieve the highly complex design of each of Naturalis’ exhibition rooms. As well as being models with a long life-span and long support lifecycle, these versatile models made these intricate installations possible.

Tom Aarts, founder and director of Ata Tech explained: “Working with a complex design and constrained budget, we needed projectors that would allow us to be creative and flexible. The benefit of Canon’s projectors is that they have a wide lens shift and short throw ratio, meaning they can be installed at really tight angles to avoid shadows being cast on the exhibits. Canon also offers long-term support for its projectors, so we could guarantee that Naturalis’ investment would last and many visitors could experience its exciting exhibitions.”