Augmented Reality in Museums

You may remember the release and subsequent popularity of the Pokemon Go up that sparked a widespread interest in the use of augmented reality (AR) to enhance the user experience. One place that Augmented reality is really taking off is in museum exhibits, not just in the United States but throughout the world. This increase in use comes as no surprise considering that AR’s features have the ability to both educate and entertain the visitor.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality, oftentimes referred to as just AR, is the real-time integration of superimposed, computer-generated graphics into the user’s current environment. As with the Pokemon Go app, users can find and capture various Pokemon as if they were right next to them.

How Augmented Reality Is Being Used

The AR technology is just now entering the museum space, but there are many well-known museums that already are putting this technology to good use.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Bone Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History was a crowd-pleaser for years, but thanks to augmented reality the complimentary Skin and Bones app allows visitors to see these bones like never before. AR technology enables visitors to add skin and movement to the bones on display. Visitors can watch a vampire bat fly away and see an extinct sea cow come to life, among other fascinating features.

National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore’s Story of the Forest augmented reality display is a sight to behold. Visitors get an up-close view of a wide variety of plants and animals. The corresponding museum app works much like the Pokemon Go app. Instead of catching various Pokemon, however, visitors are encouraged to collect all the plants and animals they see along the path. Once captured on their mobile app, visitors can gain more information about each item caught.

National History Museum of Los Angeles

At the 2016 Dino Fest, the National History Museum of Los Angeles unveiled its BroadcastAR system, which literally gave visitors the opportunity to feel what it was like to stand right next to a T-Rex and several other dinosaur species.

While the integration of augmented reality has only recently made its way into museum exhibits, the trend is expected to grow in popularity. The use of augmented reality allows museums to put the fun back into learning and both kids and adults are loving it.

I’m curious about what other Augmented Reality Museum experiences you have had. Tell me about it in the comments!

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