Museum Augmented Reality Experience Illustration


Museums around the world are now incorporating digital technology within physical gallery spaces to cater to younger, more digitally-oriented generations. Tech-enhanced exhibits offer interactive, engaging, and more meaningful experiences for visitors. These immersive exhibitions allow visitors to go beyond physical limitations and place objects in context to become experiences that can’t be summed up in a handful of mobile phone images. This experiential art and interactive digital content aid learning, exploration and navigation within the museum walls. As museum managers and curators plan for augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality integrations, it is important to focus on quality content to ensure the digitally-enhanced exhibitions are meaningful. Here are some examples of the top immersive experiences at museums.

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art incorporated gesture-based interactions to engage visitors with exhibits and the museum for longer periods of time. Through interactive games, visitors can create shapes with their hand movements and the technology will automatically locate similarly shaped details within the objects of CMA’s collection, from sculptures to paintings that feature that shape as a design element, even if it’s small and almost unnoticeable. With another game titled “Zoom Wall,” the visitor’s body becomes the pinch-and-zoom used to manipulate the artwork: he or she walks to one side, and it enlarges the piece. When he or she backtracks, it zooms out. When two visitors bump into each other, the two bodies become one control and it enlarges the artwork together. Prior to the installation, the average time people looked at the artwork was two to three seconds; with the technology-enhanced experience, people now look at each art piece for 15 seconds on average. CMA managers have said that the installation has succeeded in creating long-term patrons who return regularly with 50 to 60 percent of the visitors are repeat visitors.

Detroit Institute of Arts — Lumin Tour

The Lumin Tour at the Detroit Institute of Arts lets visitors see the art in its original environment and understand how objects were used during that time period. With augmented reality overlays, videos, photographs, sounds, and touch-activated animations, visitors can get additional contextual information on the art, object or sculpture such as how it was initially used or its original location. There are even gaming elements incorporated that encourage interaction with the artwork such as searching for details in the art to solve puzzles our unlock sounds.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum — Hacking the Heist

At the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, famous as the site of the largest art heist in history, empty frames have remained on the walls awaiting the return of the stolen pieces since 1990. Visitors to the museum are now able to see these missing pieces using a custom app. The Hacking the Heist exhibit utilizes augmented reality tech in an interesting way to commemorate history and showcase artworks that may forever be lost.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Surrealist painter Rene Magritte’s work is on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with an interactive gallery that incorporates digital puzzles based on the artist’s paintings. Using an augmented reality app on visitors’ phones, guests can explore Magritte’s universe, creating apples, pipes and bowler hats for others to find as they went along. This shared experience has been described as “magical” by museum guests.

This is just a small sampling of the interactive experiences museums are creating using augmented reality. Similarly, QuantumERA has been creating augmented reality experiences at some of the most historic sites in U.S. history with our apps available for enhancing visitor time spent at the Alamo, Gettysburg and around Philadelphia. In these locations, we use augmented reality to introduce richly-developed characters, to extend and personalize a storyline through physical movement, and to provide differing viewpoints. Through augmented reality, visitors experience history and become part of the story, making it more memorable and fun.


See How This Museum Uses Augmented Reality To See Inside A Mummy
The Cleveland Museum of Art Wants You To Play With Its Art
SFMOMA Is Putting the ‘AR’ in ‘Art’ With Augmented Reality Exhibits
Hacking the Heist

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