XR is an umbrella term that covers virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Visiting museums and exhibitions can be both fun and educational. Thanks to XR technology, it is possible to create real-world experiences and get closer to history and art in a fun and immersive way.

XR takes the exhibition to a new level

XR offers a way to bring the exhibition to life in a whole new way. Virtual reality, for example, allows a user to travel in the middle of a natural site where they can view different species of animals in their actual scale, such as tigers or bears in their own habitat or see already extinct animals.

A visitor can be taken on a trip to a historic site to explore for example what the Colosseum used to look like a long time ago. More information about works of art can be presented with augmented reality, or sound effects or music can be added to them. Virtual reality allows the visitor to be creative and create their own art or to interact with existing artworks, for example editing them as they wish.

Alternatively, the whole physical exhibition can be brought to virtual reality, which in itself opens up completely new possibilities. In the museum, however, XR’s purpose is to support the exhibition and not just steal the spotlight.

XR enhances learning

Learning can sometimes be experienced even as challenging or dull, but museums provide an excellent learning environment for all ages. The interactive works enrich the visitor’s experience of the exhibition, and XR enables the visitor to participate and immerse themselves in the exhibition even better. A more intense experience is more impressive and there have been studies that XR also helps to recall what a person has experienced or learned more easily than without XR, this is especially useful for educational purposes.

Examples of XR used in museums

Many museums abroad and in Finland have utilized XR technology in their exhibitions. A well-known example is the Louvre, where visitors were able to explore famous paintings in more detail and how they had changed over time using virtual reality. The Finnish National Museum has also previously introduced virtual reality in an exhibition where visitors could step inside the painting and communicate with the characters in the painting.

MeKiwi’s XR projects

MeKiwi has created a fully immersive demo of Finnish Winter War VR-experience, known as “Operation Suentassu”. The project started when a new war museum was starting in Mikkeli and we were offering our services for a war VR experience. The intention was to create a realistic, short segment teaching about the horrors of war without it being a too raw experience. This demo project utilized the latest Mixed Reality technology, creating a mix of real and virtual worlds. The project utilized the newest VR-technology and authentic, deactivated Suomi KP/-31 as a controller instead of a traditional VR-controller. With this experience one can relive history that makes them feel like they are physically there.

We also implemented a virtual museum for the municipality of Muurame, where the user can view spaces as a 360° environment, most of which are based on actual places in Muurame. The user can for example visit Muurame church and view the choir performance in a 360° environment. The project was implemented in honor of the 100th anniversary of the municipality of Muurame and aims to present services, recreational opportunities, diverse nature and history of Muurame.

Contact us if you are interested in the topic or want to hear more about what kind of XR solutions we can offer.