I have three aspects to research in my self-negotiated project, one of them being investigating AR in Museums currently. This article by Shelley Mannion, Digital Learning Programmes Manager, The British Museum, entitled British Museum – Augmented Reality: Beyond the Hype is a great short piece that references other front runners testing and looking into AR in their museums.
Among the forerunners are the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam which used AR to install artworks in a local park (ARTours), and the San Francisco Exploratorium which turned an evening event into a surreal AR playground (Get Surreal). In 2011, the British Museum’s digital learning team embarked on a plan to explore AR’s potential in museum education. We ran a series of experimental projects that allowed us to push the boundaries of the technology and evaluate its benefits in learning programmes. Our experience confirmed that AR – although technically still immature – has both the unique ability to engage visitors and quantifiable learning outcomes. It is a useful tool in our arsenal of interpretive tools and techniques. (quoted from http://www.museum-id.com/idea-detail.asp?id=336 )
What I find interesting is that The British Museum has been testing their app called ‘passport to the afterlife’ since 2011, it is a trigger related trail with markers which will display 3D objects, and the museum itself provides the device for the visitors to use, so no-one is discriminated against for not having the right phone.
I think this is great, just what I want to see in our modern world, the ancient and long gone being brought to life, real time in our own hands with the aid of technology.
We can learn at our own pace, combining tech and tradition, I still want to go and see those dug up objects and an artists view of what it once was like, but imagine being able to look around it, zoom in and out and gather more information, relevant to your own needs, on a mobile device.
Bringing creatures back to life. Using animated 3D models to show what an extinct animal or plant would have looked like is another ideal use of AR. Holding your device over a skeleton or fossil to reveal an animated model answers an age-old interpretive challenge. The Natural History Museum in London uses this technique to populate a multimedia theatre with early humans, dinosaurs, fish and other animals in the interactive film Who do you think you really are? This is an expensive bespoke implementation with custom hardware, but these types of applications are increasingly easier and cheaper to realise. (quoted from http://www.museum-id.com/idea-detail.asp?id=336 )