How Museums are using Augmented Reality

Charlotte Coates
Original paper on MuseumNext >

Augmented reality is the process of using technology to superimpose images, text or sounds on top of what a person can already see. It uses a smartphone or tablet to alter the existing picture, via an app. The user stands in front of a scene and holds up their device. It will show them an altered version of reality. There are many ways that museums could be using augmented reality.

A few of the most well-known applications of AR technology are from the gaming world. For example, Pokémon Go, the game where users can ‘catch’ Pokémon hiding in the world around them. Animated creatures are superimposed onto what players can see through their device’s camera. The technology makes them appear as if they are existing in the real world. The app has been downloaded almost 11.5 million times. This shows that AR is accessible, and has the potential to reach a huge audience.

How can museums use augmented reality?

There are many possibilities for the use of AR in museums. The most straightforward way is to use it to add explanations of pieces. This means visitors will get more information when they view exhibitions using AR. Museums could even use it to display digital versions of artists next to their work. These 3D personas are then able to provide a narration. AR gives an opportunity to add a third dimension to displays, bringing objects or scenes to life. There are already many institutions around the world using AR. These projects bring something new to existing collections and attract wider audiences. Here are some interesting ways that museums are using augmented reality.

Leave a Reply