Through augmented or virtual reality, laser projections and immersive experience; museums all over the world have been, for the past 20 years, investing in new technologies to rejuvenate their general public and revolutionize their cultural spaces; a key strategy that perfectly meets the needs and expectations of the millennial generation.
Digital museums utilize computer and information technology to create a platforms on which cultural relics and historical data can be displayed in a digital format, and hence be better preserved and more interactive.
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS IN DIGITAL MUSEUMS:
1- AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)
Numerous museums and historic monuments are using touchscreen tablets to accompany the visitor; touchscreen tablets are interactive, instructive and recreational all at once. AR restores historic memories of the location as visitors can point their tablets to empty walls and discover how the space used to look like centuries ago. Thanks to the expertise of specialists, all spaces, decorations and furnishings can be recreated and used in AR immersive experiences.
This tool has been effective for a few years already at the Domaine National de Chambord in France where visitors can discover the 16th century castle using topnotch AR technology.
Virtual assistants have also made their way into the cultural sphere of modern societies. In museums, chatbots are engineered to answer common and basic questions and to help guide the visits; they can also be used in up-stream work for example to explain visit preparations (tickets, opening hours, accessibility information and more). Museums such as the Akron Museum of Art are using Facebook Messenger to present their chatbot. This tool allows users to access the chatbot through an easily accessible app, probably already on their phone.
3- VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)
The main purpose for using VR headsets and virtual collections in cultural spaces is to attract a younger generation who is sometimes reluctant to step into museums. This technology offers a new perspective on how to perceive and experience art, in an attractive and innovative way.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been presenting exhibitions in VR and AR mode; Likewise, in France, the Louvre – Museum Lab is a unique concept that introduces new technologies to create immersive experiences for visitors who want to interact with art and appreciate pieces in a personalized, educational and emotional way.
4- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
AI in museums can be used in several ways, one of them is through deploying robots to answer questions and interact with visitors as seen at the Hirshhorn museum in Washington. Another way to rely on AI is by linking text information to art pieces through image recognition; particularly useful for museums owning thousands for pieces. This AI strategy was applied by the Modern Museum of Art, MoMA in New York, in partnership with Google who developed a special algorithm for image detection and information display.
DIGITAL MUSEUMS ARE REVOLUTIONIZING THE CULTURAL WORLD BY:
- Combining amusement to art
- Bringing a modern feel to a classic sector
- Reviving ancient history and pieces
- Using immersive experiences to tell unique stories
- Triggering strong emotions through special tech effects
- Putting the visitor at the center of the experience
One common take away, from museums going digital is that the future of art is a dynamic one. People are no longer passive visitors, they want to experience strong emotions and live enriching moments while discovering art.