Technology continues to advance and evolve and so it is no surprise that it has become a valuable tool for museum exhibits.
In 2022, several museums have utilized technology in unique and innovative ways to enhance the visitor experience and bring exhibitions to life.
Some of this technology includes artificial reality, virtual reality, etc., that museums have used to create hyperrealistic experiences for museum visitors.
Here are some of these exhibits that have used technology this year
"The Future of Flight" at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Technology keeps making things that used to be figments of imagination possible. One way it's done this was through the "Future of Flight" exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.
The museum utilized virtual reality technology in its "Future of Flight" exhibition to take visitors on a simulated flight through space. They achieved this using virtual reality headsets. These VR headsets allowed visitors to experience the feeling of traveling through space and exploring different planets and galaxies.
The exhibition also featured interactive displays and exhibits that provided information about the science and technology behind space travel. It also showed the potential future of space exploration.
Virtual reality technology in the exhibition provided visitors with a unique and immersive experience that allowed them to explore the vastness of space realistically and engagingly.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City's "Art of the Ancient World" exhibit.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City's use of augmented reality technology in the "Art of the Ancient World" exhibit has enhanced the visitor experience. This has provided visitors with a more engaging and immersive way to explore the ancient world.
The museum has implemented reality technology in its "Art of the Ancient World" exhibit.
How does this work?
It works by using alternative reality (AR) apps and interactive displays. These displays allow visitors to see virtual reconstructions of ancient artifacts and sites, giving them a more immersive and engaging experience.
For instance, visitors can use their smartphones or tablets to scan specific images or artifacts in the exhibit. This will trigger a 3D rendering of the artifact or image in its original form. This allows visitors to see how the artifacts would have looked in their original context, providing a detailed view of the ancient world.
The museum has also installed AR displays throughout the exhibit. These displays allow visitors to see virtual reconstructions of ancient sites and artifacts without using a smartphone or tablet. These AR displays use motion sensors and 3D technology to create a fully immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore and interact with the virtual reconstructions in real-time.
The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco's "Art in the Digital Age" exhibit
The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco implemented technology into the 'Art in the Digital Age' exhibit by incorporating touch screens and interactive displays in the exhibit.
They did this by featuring digital artworks that visitors could interact with through touch screens and other interactive technologies.
Some of the high points of the exhibit included a virtual reality installation that allowed visitors to explore a digital world created by an artist, a kinetic sculpture that responded to touch and movement, and a series of interactive installations that invited visitors to create their digital art using a variety of tools and techniques.
In addition to these interactive displays, the exhibit also featured video interviews with artists and curators, as well as educational materials and resources that explored the role of technology in the creation and dissemination of modern art.
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago's "Robot Revolution" exhibit
In years past, one would have doubted the possibility of being in a simulated environment where you could interact with robots. But thanks to technology, and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, that is now possible.
The museum did this through its "Robot Revolution" exhibit.
Virtual reality allows visitors to control and interact with robots in a simulated environment. The VR experience allows visitors to see, hear, and feel what it is like to be a robot and perform tasks such as picking up objects or moving through obstacles.
You also get controllers that allow you to mimic the movements of a robot, allowing you to feel as though you're directly controlling the robots in the virtual environment. This immersive experience provides a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with robots in a way that is impossible in the physical world.
The British Museum in London's "Egyptian Mummies" exhibit
The British Museum, London, used technology in their 'Egyptian Mummies' exhibit by using 3D technology. They used 3D scanning technology to capture detailed digital images of ancient artifacts and mummies.
These digital images were then used to create 3D-printed replicas of the artifacts and mummies, which were displayed alongside the original artifacts in the exhibit. This allowed visitors to see highly detailed and accurate replicas of the artifacts and mummies, giving them a more in-depth and interactive experience.
The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., "Our Shared Planet" exhibit
The "Our shared planet" exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., seeks to give visitors a more engaging and immersive experience.
The museum, through the exhibit, has incorporated touchscreen displays and interactive maps. These touchscreen displays allow visitors to explore and interact with the exhibit more hands-only. This gives them detailed information and visuals about the earth's ecosystems and conservation efforts.
For instance, the touchscreen displays feature interactive maps highlighting different regions of the world and unique ecosystems. Visitors can zoom in and out of the maps to see various habitats and species in each region. They can even learn about the efforts to conserve and protect these ecosystems.
Also, the touchscreen displays feature videos and other multimedia content that provide a detailed look at the various ecosystems and conservation efforts being highlighted in the exhibit.
This allows visitors to learn about the complex relationships between different species and the challenges facing these ecosystems. It also gives them a more comprehensive understanding of the importance of conservation efforts.
The National WWII Museum, New Orleans's "D-Day: Normandy 1944" exhibit
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has implemented virtual reality technology in its "D-Day: Normandy 1944" exhibit. They've done this by creating a VR experience that allows visitors to experience the events of D-Day from the perspective of soldiers on the front lines.
This is done using VR headsets and immersive sound design to transport visitors to the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Visitors can experience the soldiers' sights, sounds, and emotions as they land on the beaches and fight their way inland.
The VR experience also includes interactive elements, such as moving through the battlefield and engaging with enemy soldiers. This allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the experience and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and sacrifices of the soldiers who fought on D-Day.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., "Through the African American Lens" exhibit
The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., has used technology in its 'Through the American Lens' exhibit through augmented reality.
For example, by using AR tools and applications, visitors can use their smartphones to scan specific markers or trigger points in the exhibit, which will bring virtual characters and stories related to the historical figures and events on display.
The "Through the African American Lens" exhibit's interactive table is one example. This features AR overlays and animation to bring historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass to life. Visitors can interact with the virtual characters, learn more about their lives and contributions, and even participate in mini-games and activities related to their stories.
In addition, the exhibit also includes AR elements such as virtual displays and interactive videos. These elements provide visitors with additional information and context on the historical figures and events featured in the exhibit.
The Science Museum in London's "Human Universe" exhibit
The Science Museum in London used virtual reality technology in their "Human Universe" exhibit using VR headsets and motion-sensing controllers.
Museum visitors could explore the mysteries of the cosmos and the origins of humanity by walking through a virtual universe and interacting with several celestial bodies and other objects.
The exhibit also included simulations of space missions and other immersive experiences, allowing visitors to feel like they were exploring the universe.
The National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., "Presidents of the United States" exhibit
The 'Presidents of the United States' exhibit by the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., is one of the best examples of the incorporation of technology into art. It is engaging and provides visitors with a more immersive and engaging experience.
The museum included touchscreen displays and interactive maps in the exhibit to provide visitors with a comprehensive look at the lives and legacies of America's presidents. The touchscreen displays allow visitors to access detailed information about each president, including biographies, political achievements, and historical context.
How do the maps work?
Being interactive, the maps visually represent the president's terms in office. It highlights important events and accomplishments during their tenure. These maps also allow visitors to explore the presidents' personal lives and relationships with their families, colleagues, and the American people.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston's "Artists at Work" exhibit
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has also done fine work using 3D printing technology in its exhibit. They did this in the "Artists at Work" exhibit using 3D scanners to capture detailed images of the artists' tools and materials. These images were then fed into 3D printers, which produced exact replicas of the tools and materials.
These replicas were displayed in the exhibit, allowing visitors to see and interact with them. This allowed visitors to get a more in-depth understanding of artists' tools and materials and how they are used.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City "Abstract Expressionism" exhibit
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City used augmented reality technology in their "Abstract Expressionism" exhibit by creating virtual reconstructions of famous works that could be viewed through a smartphone or tablet.
Using the museum's app, visitors could access the augmented reality feature and see the virtual reconstructions of the works as they appeared in their original form, allowing them to better understand the scale and composition of the pieces.
In addition, the augmented reality technology provided visitors with more information about the artists behind the works, including biographical details, quotes, and insights into their artistic processes.
Through this technology, visitors could gain a more comprehensive understanding of the abstract expressionist movement and its impact on the art world.
The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., "Butterflies and Plants" exhibit
The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., used a virtual reality experience in their "Butterflies and Plants" exhibit by providing visitors with VR headsets and a special immersive experience that transports them into the vibrant world of butterflies and the plants they rely on.
The VR experience allows visitors to explore the intricate ecosystem of butterflies and plants engagingly, providing them with a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between these two groups of organisms.
The VR experience also includes interactive elements and educational content, providing visitors with valuable information about the biology and behavior of butterflies and plants.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City's "Ancient Rome" exhibit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City implemented touchscreen displays and interactive maps in their "Ancient Rome" exhibit by incorporating various technology-based tools and resources.
These included large-scale touchscreen displays that allowed visitors to explore various aspects of ancient Rome, such as its art, culture, and history, in greater detail.
The touchscreen displays were placed throughout the exhibit, allowing visitors to learn more about specific artifacts, historical figures, and other elements of ancient Rome. Also, the touch screens allowed visitors to access detailed information about the exhibit.
This includes detailed descriptions of the artifacts on display and images, videos, and other multimedia resources.
To complement the touchscreen displays, the exhibit also featured interactive maps that gave visitors a more comprehensive view of ancient Rome. These maps were designed to be highly intuitive, allowing visitors to easily navigate the city and explore its various neighbourhoods, landmarks, and other points of interest.
The British Museum in London's "Greek Mythology" exhibit
The British Museum in London incorporated augmented reality technology in their "Greek Mythology" exhibit using interactive displays and virtual storytelling. Visitors to the exhibit could use their smartphones or tablets to access the augmented reality content, which included virtual recreations of iconic Greek myths and legends, such as the story of Perseus and Medusa.
The augmented reality technology allowed visitors to see these stories come to life in front of their eyes, as the virtual elements were seamlessly integrated into the physical exhibit space. For example, visitors could see a virtual Medusa appear on their screens as they walked past a display of ancient Greek sculptures, or they could use their device to see a virtual Perseus flying through the air as they explored the exhibit.
In addition to the augmented reality content, the exhibit also featured interactive displays and touchscreens, which provided more information about Greek myths and legends. These interactive displays were designed to complement the augmented reality experience, providing visitors with a more immersive and engaging way to learn about ancient Greek culture and mythology.
The use of technology in museum exhibits has greatly enhanced the visitor experience and provided a more engaging and immersive way to learn about history and culture. This is important as more people now understand and are in touch with their history and culture more than ever.
As technology improves, we are bound to witness even better possibilities that can be achieved with exhibits and art in general.