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Our key takeaways from MuseumNext’s XR Summit – 2021

Recently we attended the MuseumNext XR Summit, a three day virtual conference for professionals working in the arts and heritage sector. As an event focused on XR and museums, it felt like the perfect fit for us.

We attended with a few goals in mind.
Meet and learn from others innovating in the space;
Discover what challenges museums have been facing with XR;
Get inspired by the great work being done in the industry.

There were two topics that really resonated with us.

  1. Adoption of augmented reality by museums.
  2. Considerations around accessibility and how XR technologies can support these needs?

Projects & talks that stood out.

Unmute – Online Platform for Art Exhibition

Jiabao Li’s talk on “One of the Futures of Museums online” got our attention right away as their stated aims are very similar to ours.

Her vision of the potential future for art is very interesting. In her talk she introduced UNMUTE, a browser based platform for exhibiting digital art such as games, video and augmented reality.

You can learn more here: https://www.unmuteart.com/

Gallipoli exhibition at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Donald James and Laura Jones gave an inspiring talk around the Gallipoli exhibition currently showing at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. It has generated significant emotional impact among visitors.

We were really intrigued by the project’s use of Structure, a 3D scanner attachment for iPad, allowing the museum to take charge and create their own 3D content. We’d love to hear from our partners if any of them have tried this method, or similar pieces of kit, to get their take on the speed and ease of capture and the quality of the output. Definitely one to watch!

Learn more about the exhibit here: https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/visit/exhibitions/gallipoli-scale-our-war

Curious Alice – Falling down the rabbit hole

Our highlight from day 1 was listening to Kati Price (V&A) and Jon Caplin (Preloaded) talk about bringing Alice in Wonderland to virtual reality. Their immersive experience, Curious Alice is a fully immersive interactive re-imagining of wonderland.

It was great to hear about the design principles and how they approached layering different techniques such as converting 2D artwork to 3D.

If you want to know more or would like tickets check out the link: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/alice-curiouser-and-curiouser

What if you could put on a VR headset and instantly transport inside a museum…

When we first saw the talk title for Kai’s talk we were very excited.

Kai Frazer really understands the need for accessibility; she understands the limitations that can leave people out of the loop when it comes to being able to attend museums or use immersive technology. Her company, Kai XR, was created in response to the problem she saw while working as a teacher, and to specifically facilitate and provide access for students to technologies like AR and VR. Giving this access to XR extends to providing access to some incredible museums and places.

Find out more about Kai and Kai XR here: https://www.kaixr.com/

How we’re using our learnings to improve Curatours and our other work.

We are developing the platform’s features all the time and the MuseumNext XR Summit has given us valuable insight into how we can enable museum professionals with Curatours.

We have augmented reality functionality on our roadmap and we’ll be adding some of the learnings from the talk to our planning.

Additionally, we’re considering the functionality within Curatours right now and thinking about how to demonstrate the increased accessibility opportunities that it provides and how to keep assessing the ways that we can better enable the experience of all our users.

The summit really brought home to us just how essential these considerations are within museums right now, above and beyond our existing understanding, and we will be centering them even more strongly in future conversations.

Do you have any recommendations for the Curatours platform? Interested in a demo?
Reach out to us on the contact page.

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