When exhibits come back to life – How to implement Virtual and Augmented Reality in Museums

When exhibits come back to life – How to implement Virtual and Augmented Reality in Museums

Author: Andrea Geipel – Deutsches Museum, Germany

New technologies, such as Virtual Realitiy (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), not only point the way to science communication in the museum of the future, but also sharpen the view for everyday challenges in the analogue and digital realms. These are precisely the challenges that cultural institutions are facing in an equal measure. With the opening of the VRlab in August 2018, the Deutsches Museum created an experimental area in the exhibition space to test various scenarios of digital communication and education and to identify measures for their implementation.

As part of the national project museum4punkt0 the Deutsches Museum, together with seven other institutions, evaluates and documents questions on digital storytelling, usability and infrastructural requirements when implementing digital technologies. Within the VRlab the Deutsches Museum applied ethnographic fieldwork, 20 in-depth interviews as well as a questionnaire (n=367) to uncover how skilled visitors already are in using VR, how they perceive the virtual exhibits, the contextualization and the storytelling and how they evaluate usability and accessibility.

Our evaluation shows, that around 16% of the visitors have already experienced room scale VR before coming to the Deutsches Museum, around 92% want to learn more about how VR works and around 87% want to see and learn more about the real exhibits. Together with detailed documentation, the talk will give insights in the implementation, virtual storytelling and reception of VR and how therefore, it is more than another media station. In a next step, we will take a closer look at educational concepts and learning outcomes in VR.

In the talk I will highlight why VR should never be seen as a replacement for real exhibitions but rather as another promising tool to give context, add information and bring exhibits back to life.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Technology