“That belongs in a museum!” - this is one of Indiana Jones’ most famous sentences, because of his great respect for archaeological relics. What would Indiana think today, if he knew that it is possible to preserve any kind of relic, be it artistic or archaeological, even better than by keeping it in a museum? The answer is Mixed Reality: here is how it is revolutionizing museums all over the world.
The benefits of using Mixed Reality for museums
Museums are magical places, they can take visitors to the most diverse places - from XVIII century France to the American Civil War, from the Stone Age to a future that doesn’t exist yet. So why add technology to something that is already great in itself?
There are different answers:
- As Adrian Hon wrote, the rooms of a museum - even if it’s well organized - are too crowded, jeopardizing the possibility to admire the exposed works, to read the descriptive labels or just to spend an appropriate amount of time admiring them without depriving other people of the same right;
- not all works are accessible: they might be too delicate to be in the presence of people, or they might even not exist in their entirety anymore;
- not all art, history or museum lovers in general have the possibility to travel the world to see their favorite works with their own eyes.
In all of these scenarios, using a technology such as Mixed Reality for museums can be of great help: for example, if anyone has the possibility to see the same thing, at the same time, inside their own pair of visors, no one will need to push in order to read the label.
If an item, or a room, is so fragile that it cannot bear more than a few minutes a day in contact with breath or sweat, this problem would not occur in the case of a virtual reproduction of it, which does not fear corrosion; Mixed Reality would even allow to interact with the exposed items, without giving them a scratch!
If a flight from America to Italy is too expensive, it would be definitely cheaper to visit a local exhibition allowing to walk the streets of Pompeii and enter a realistic reconstruction of the “Villa of the Mysteries” or the fresco of Leda and the swan - and so on.
Several museums have already realized the numerous potentialities of using Mixed Reality for museums to attract and support visitors.
For example, this museum in Kyoto has organized an entirely virtual exhibition which presents, with the aid of Microsoft’s HoloLens, one of the ancient, sacred treasures of the Japanese culture: the folding screens of the God of Wind and of the God of Thunder, both painted more than 400 years ago by Tawaraya Sotatsu.
The exhibition, which took place across 2018 both in the very Kennin-ji Temple and in Kyoto National Museum, gave a new light to the temple, (virtually) gathering other artworks that normally cannot be admired together.
Thanks to the interesting and original narration and the 3D guide - the zen monk Asano-san, “the first 3D monk in the world” - visitors had the possibility to understand the historic and artistic context of the ancient Japan, and to be involved in an immersive experience which, in just ten minutes, brought them to a time that does not exist anymore.
What do you think of Mixed Reality for museums? Would you like to know how we can help your museum with our technologies? Contact us!
“That belongs in a museum!” – this is one of Indiana Jones’ most famous sentences, because of his great respect for archaeological relics. What would Indiana think today, if he knew that it is possible to preserve any kind of relic, be it artistic or archaeological, even better than by keeping it in a museum? The answer is Mixed Reality: here is how it is revolutionizing museums all over the world.