5x the coolest (tech) experiences in museums

(Photo of REBLINK via Alex Mayhew)

Nowadays museums often ask themselves: how do we attract visitors to our museum? Mainly: young visitors. Although the numbers of visitors are raising in the Netherlands, mainly by tourists,  for many museums the difficult issue of attracting youngsters and young adults to their location remains. But how do you make it interesting for this younger target group? The answer lays in a combination of experience and technology. How then? We’ve gathered 5 cool and modern museum experiences for you.

The museum of 2017

Whatever you may think: museums are hot! Museums are always on the look for ways to get visitors actively involved with their exhibitions. The old school way of walking by art, staring at it for a few seconds and strolling further doesn’t do it anymore for the young generation. Key words nowadays are ‘doing it yourself’, ‘getting involved’ and ‘getting excited’! The ICOM came up with a definition of the museum in 2006:

A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

Phew! A dry, serious description like this definitely doesn’t contribute to the image of a lively and fun museum! At Dutch Rose Media we totally advocate for interaction, experience and tech at the museum. Innovation in the cultural world. With our platform ByAR we more often create (indoor) Augmented Reality games and treasure hunts for museums. Now still focused on kids, but we often notice that grown-ups like it just as much. We would gladly share some cool examples of how already existing (AR) tech installations at museums make this sector way more interesting!

REBLINK: paintings come alive with AR

Using Augmented Reality to make paintings come alive; we’ve seen this already. An Asian company already did this and the works of the Rijksmuseum have been brought to live as well (even though this wasn’t with AR). But Alex Mayhew’s AR version for The Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada really is on top of our list! With the special REBLINK app you can not only let paintings start to move, but the scene is being placed in the 21st century as well. A 16th century couple appears amidst modern groceries and a character in another painting pulls out a selfie stick and starts taking pictures of himself. (Video via Alex Mayhew/Impossible Things)

Museum Escape: a styled Escape Room

Everybody has heard of Escape Rooms by now, right? You’ll get locked in a room along with a small group of other people and by solving all kind of puzzles and riddles you have to get out before times runs out. Current Escape Rooms are very various, with different sizes and themes. But then there’s the Museum Escape: an archaeology themed pop-up Escape Room in a big transportation box that travels from one museum to another. Exciting detail: Museum Escape adjusts to the museum it is being placed, hence the escape being different every time you play. A good way of testing the knowledge of your audience. Wouldn’t it be cool if Augmented Reality would be added to this experience? (Photo via Twitter Museum Escape)

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Bright Ideas Hub: design your own AR city

This is not really an installation in an actual museum, but it’s something we’re impressed by! In collaboration with several partners (including Studio YiPP) Shell developed the Bright Ideas Hub: a space where children can learn about the future of the world and learn how to solve world problems in a fun way. One installation in this Hub consists of a table with a model of a futuristic city on it. There are tablets at this table where children can use 3D models to construct their own version of the city. After creating this, they can scan the physical model on the table and with AR their own designed city will appear! A very interesting aspect of letting children construct something theirselves and show this construction in AR afterwards.  (Screenshot via Youtube YiPP)

Histopad: A virtual time travel

Yes, we know audio tours in museums right now and the use of tablets in museums isn’t strange anymore either. But combine a tablet, AR & VR and gaming to get guided through a museum and you get a truly unique experience. They’ve been using this combination in Chambord in France already. With an iPad, named the Histopad, visitors can roam the castle halls to retrieve information, play a digital treasure hunt or view a historic room in 360°.  Scan different historic objects using AR and discover their use or use the Histopad to get a closer view of some art work. And yes, you can still use the tablet to do an audio tour 😉 (Screenshot via Youtube Domaine national de Chambord)

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BOS: projections that react to movement

At the Nature Museum Brabant they know how to use experience to entertain visitors. Their BOS installation is very cool; a space where children can learn all about the forest. Many beautiful elements adorn the room, for example the growth of digital leaves on a tree by correctly accomplishing assignments. Another cool element is the interactive projection on the floor that interacts with a Kinect camera. When children walk over the projection, this will react to their movement. Leaves move aside and children can lift special elements (with projections of tree stumps or mushrooms), making digital bugs crawl around. In this very fun way both surroundings and movement are being used to their fullest. Oh and the installation adapts to nature’s seasons! (Video via Youtube YiPP)

We want tech at the museum!

With examples like these it all becomes crystal clear: tech at the museum is cool! Like we’ve said before, we always strive to make more museums use tech, especially Augmented or Virtual Reality. We are already very proud of De Tijdkijker at preHistorisch Dorp and we cannot wait to start more AR & VR projects for museums! Would you like to get more info or to have a chat about this? Mail to info@dutchrosemedia.com. We are happy to discuss this further!