Pensa, a strategic design consultancy based in Brooklyn, is putting an interactive spin on tourism in DUMBO. If you're in the area, keep any eye out for one of their "Tower Optical Digital Viewers," which look just like those big, silver binocular devices you would normally find at the water's edge. Rather than just being able to gaze at the Manhattan skyline, Pensa's solar-powered viewers will also let you take a virtual tour of the neighborhood to see how it's changed over the years.
The Tower Optical Digital Viewer is Pensa’s latest storytelling effort put together in a partnership with Tower Optical as well as the DUMBO BID. A team of Pensa engineers modified the internals of the classic Tower Optical viewer to display digital media. The viewer is made to show you all sorts of things like videos, slideshows, and even augmented reality overlays to give you more information about a particular sight to see.
Pensa says all you have to do is stroll over to Old Fulton Street and Water Street, where the Tower Viewer will be located until October. You don’t even need to pop in a quarter, just pull the original coin lever and you’ll see a video created by DUMBO Bid that contrasts the area’s past with its present. It’s an interactive experience that really just comes naturally with the binocular viewer because it will pan the video as you move. And just like Pensa’s last big project, the Street Charge, this one is also powered by the sun.