Butterfly Pavillion powered by Wikitude AR technology

Life sciences museum features 3D AR augmentations in Butterfly Pavilion

The Butterfly Pavilion AR app is successfully engaging and impressing visitors with augmented reality experiences


The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is a life sciences museum that focuses on telling the stories of ecology and natural history through insects! They primarily serve schools in the greater Philadelphia area.


  • Get visitors truly engaged in the museum

The museum wanted to offer visitors an experience that would allow them to engage with the Insectarium mural, transforming the museum experience from passive to interactive.


  • Interactive augmented 3D animations and video

AR app: Philly Insects AR [ Google PlayApp Store ]

The Philly Insects AR app allows museum visitors to experience one of Philadelphia’s first interactive murals.

In “Mural Mode”, visitors position their device over the mural to watch how a monarch butterfly emerges from its chrysalis in augmented reality! Using Image Recognition, the mural graphic is tracked to display the interactive 3D
animation and video. Virtual buttons link to both the Insectarium website and the developer’s project page, respectively.

In “Photo Mode”, users can take a photo with family and friends and the virtual butterfly to save it to their camera roll or share it via social media with others! Using instant tracking, the user can position, scale, and rotate the 3D butterfly.


  • High increase in visitor interaction and satisfaction
  • More visibility and sales due to social sharing

The AR app is inviting visitors to interact with the museum, providing a more memorable experience. The AR technology, which is still new to many, is delighting visitors with innovation and surprise. After the AR experience, Butterfly Pavilion visitors are motivated to use the app over and over again. The app provides a foundation for additional experiences to help enhance the learning experience as well as the connection to the world of insects and to the museum itself.

With users sharing the AR content on social media, the awareness of the museum has increased leading to more ticket sales. Dr. John Cambridge, Chief Executive Officer at the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, says:

This application has, without fail, captivated patrons from the moment it went live at our museum. We have successfully incorporated it into programs for all ages and continue to find new ways to make use of the new technology.


Yetzer Studio is a company specializing in AR experience design for training, education, product marketing, and sales. They have been actively researching, designing, and developing AR experiences and products since 2010.

Yetzer guided the strategy, development, and implementation of the experience, working with the museum to create the app.


This AR feature is used to detect, track and digitally augment 2D images – ideal for augmenting customized image targets, magazines, books, user manuals, packaging, catalogs, coasters, gaming cards, and much more.

This AR feature allows developers to map environments and display augmented reality content without the need for target images or objects (markers).

Why Wikitude?

We have successfully created AR experiences from 3D object tracking ancient terracotta warrior statues, simulating a solar farm using instant tracking to image tracking a 40×70’/12x21m mural thanks to the Wikitude SDK for Unity. Its robust feature-set gives us the confidence to offer a broad range of engaging, creative, and forward-thinking augmented reality design solutions.
Brian Yetzer | President | Yetzer Studio

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