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United Nations employs iBeacons, app to create 'virtual minefield'

updated 11:01 pm EDT, Mon March 31, 2014

Exhibit helps Westerners understand the fear of living in area with land mines

To help promote awareness of land mines and international efforts to clear them from former battlefields around the world, a museum in New York City will be hosting an exhibit utilizing Apple's iBeacon technology, headphones and an iOS or Android app to create a "virtual minefield." The idea, part of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action being held on April 4, is to allow users to experience the fear of land mines.

Layout of exhibit
Layout of exhibit

Visitors to New Museum who visit the exhibit can download a free app called Sweeper, which is to become "live" on April 3. Apple's iBeacons, small low-energy Bluetooth sensors that can be inconspicuously placed and detect a smartphone's location, are hidden throughout the exhibit. Users, wearing headphones, pick their way cautiously through the room -- but if they come to close to one of the iBeacons, it "detonates" an explosion heard in the user's headphones followed by a short audio of persons affected by land mines telling their story.

The "digital minefield" (seen above) will be open to the public from 11am to 3pm on April 4, hosted by the United Nations Mine Action Service, Critical Mass, and photographer Marco Grob. Visitors will be asked for a $5 donation to aid efforts to rid underdeveloped nations of hidden land mines and prevent the deaths and injuries resulting from them.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-26-08

    Very worth while project. Kudos to the creators.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Bring yer kids!

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