Nemus Futurum is Metsä Group’s interactive and comprehensive visitor experience showcasing sustainable forest management and the Finnish forests in a completely new way through cutting edge technology used at an actual location.
At Nemus Futurum guests are guided through sustainable Finnish forest management, sustainable use of forests, forest nature and bioproducts. Visitors will also experience how sustainable forest management has an effect on the climate and forest biodiversity.
At Nemus Futurum visitors are guided through all significant stages of an 80-year forest cycle. All visitors are provided an iPad with a bespoke app installed at the beginning of the tour that helps contextualize both the environment and support the narration of the tour guides.
The app uses various methods such as GPS tracking and Augmented Reality to provide a curated digital experience in the awe-inspiring forest setting of Nemus Futurum.
A few days after visiting Nemus Futurum all the guests receive an email with a link to a microsite. The site revisits the main themes of Nemus Futurum and expands on some of the subjects presented during the tour.
The site is divided into easy-to-read “slides” with external links for further information if the visitor is so inclined. It also features collage illustrations of all the themes and photography from Nemus Futurum to evoke memories of the visit.
The old proverb “You can’t compete with Mother Nature” was the guiding theme when defining the key visual style of Nemus Futurum. What this meant in practice was that we excluded photorealism from illustrations and AR because the experience was designed for a particular location. An attempt at a photorealistic pine tree rendered in AR next to an actual one was something doomed to fail.
So we worked with a restricted color palette and used wireframes to showcase the stages of forestry and passing of the time in the forest cycle. This was also a necessity because the weather conditions would change daily as well as the amount and direction of sunlight throughout different locations.
The overall style purposely doesn’t shy away from looking ‘technological’ either as an intended contrast to the nature surroundings when using the app.
The Nemus Futurum visitor app is completely contextual in relation to the multiple locations (stages of sustainable forestry) the tour features. This required that the app was designed as an extension of the tour guide and restricting more free-form use.
While at the tour the app uses GPS tracking to initiate content. When people are moving from one destination to another the app locks all content into a sort of ‘transit mode’. When the GPS location of device is within a certain radius it unlocks the content for the aforementioned location.
Augmented reality was used to showcase both the passage of time within the forest cycle as well as things unseen to the naked eye such as CO2.
We used custom markers to launch the AR experience to give us full control on placement of objects. Every AR scene used was optimized for contrast, legibility etc. to withstand the changing outdoor weather conditions. We also optimized the experiences using shaders and particle animations for more complex time-lapses, featuring a fairly complicated tree. This would not have been possible with the performance capabilities of the traditional 3D models.