Augmented Reality is Changing the Museum Experience
February 1, 2018

Imagine…you’re watching a dinosaur roam the halls of a natural history museum. You’re taking a walking tour of Abe Lincoln’s Springfield home — standing next to Abe himself.  Oh, and why not stand in the modern-day Colosseum for a Roman gladiator battle?

These scenarios are all possible with augmented reality. This technology allows users to superimpose virtual worlds over what’s actually in front of them. And it presents an exciting opportunity in the museum world. Exhibits and artifacts come to life in new ways, allowing visitors to have a richer understanding of the stories museums tell.  Silver Oaks is excited to be a part of this new and exciting world, and the potential impact it’s having in the world of museums.

So, how is augmented reality different than virtual reality?

VR  lets users escape the physical world by creating the illusion that they are somewhere else entirely. AR, on the other hand, merges digital media with the physical world. Digital cameras capture an environment before laying digital content on top of it.

Silver Oaks programmer, Adrian Woods, is experimenting with augmented reality applications suited for museum settings. According to Woods, “AR fits perfectly in museums. It has the potential to add a new dimension to any narrative, and the best part is you can’t do it in your living room — you actually need to go to the museum.”

AR is intuitive, easy to use, engaging, and compelling — but it doesn’t fit every situation. The ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ environments should compliment each other — not conflict with one another. “Tech works best when it’s transparent and frictionless. An important distinction to make is the difference between the novelty of overlaying digital content on the real world, and actually interacting with persistent content,” says Woods.

AR is changing the museum experience.

AR is changing the way we learn, get inspired, and interact with one another. It fosters curiosity and inspires visitors to learn more about the real thing. And isn’t that what museums are all about?

Is your museum ready to step into the world of augmented reality?

Let Silver Oaks guide the way! Have an over-the-top idea? We’re ready to make it happen, are you?


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