What are the opportunities of augmented reality?
What added value does AR offer to Museums or to heritage sites?
While it has already been a few years since the discovery of devices,
Wezit presents our vision of this new transforming approach.
New adventures await you ... Good reading on Wezit!
First of all, we will start with explaining augmented reality:
By definition, augmented reality is the superimposition of elements such as sounds, 2D or 3D images, videos, and reality calculated by a real-time computer system.
The term "augmented reality" appeared in the early 1990s. However, it became really successful only after the rise of smartphones and tablets. Thus, an augmented reality application consists in capturing and interpreting a real scene, identifying elements which can be used as details to insert into digital objects.
What are the differences between augmented and virtual reality?
Firstly, the concept of virtual reality makes reference to techniques allowing to simulate a 3D environment, which the user can interact with, therefore, the user is immersed in this atmosphere and can manipulate objects or generate a series of actions. Most of all, virtual reality applications are often used through virtual realities headpieces, omnidirectional conveyor belts, and sensory gloves.
Augmented reality in museums and heritage sites.
For us, augmented reality is a source of discoveries. Most noteworthy, we think that this technique brings an enriching portrayal of knowledge since, for those who use this technology, the impact remains very positive.
For the last few years, museums and patrimonial sites took into account the use of the digital tools within their sites.
Since a few years, many museums and patrimonial sites suggest tablets or mobile applications to their visitors, letting users locate the maps of places, schedules or audio guides (either on paid or unpaid version). Moreover, little by little augmented reality became available on these sites, and ultimately, allows visitors to complete their tour visit by offering a unique and genuine experience.
Augmented reality can essentially complement museums and heritage sites contents due to the possibility they have to improve the recommended visit as a result of implementing distinct, innovative devices.
Lastly, to offer an augmented reality experience, among others things, is making a difference from other sites, that would not combine this technology to their proposed visits. This new approach of touring allows the visitors to improve their discovery and complete an innovative understanding of the work or the place in question.
The playful feature
How to attract visitors and enhance the experience?
What kind of experience will stimulate the visitor so lively that the site becomes part of a unique souvenir to your audience?
For a long time, all these questions concerned museums and heritage sites. In addition to that, an interest to stand out of the competition becomes stronger and stronger. Therefore, the use of new technologies such as augmented reality can stir creative and unique proposed exhibits.
Furthermore, it brings out the fun side to the visitor, who can experiment new visit interactive modes incorporating a more visual understanding of the topic.
In addition to these technical developments, a learning complement is added to the visit. These new approaches are especially relevant in the contextualizing of concepts and of sometimes abstracted information.
All in all, in a more informal structure, the learning experience unfolds in a context between tangible and virtual, particularly in an environment made up of various scenarios, developing the skills and finally providing a better knowledge impart.
Propose an "another" visit experience
Over the last years, augmented reality experiences have increased its presence in museums, historical, science or heritage sites. Moreover, an opportunity for these institutions which are going forward to incite more interest on behalf of a broader audience.
As a consequence, little by little the introduction of these devices enables to create a more interactive and improved tour; therefore, the visitor can customize its own visit experience by using proposed tools.
Promoting a better comprehension
Sometimes it is not so evident to understand and to integrate a piece of art, for example, due to the delicate state of some sites or objects, which may not be presented to the general public to protect them and follow good preservation of the piece.
Hence, augmented reality allows the reconstruction by a more genuine visualization since it integrates unknown details of the site or of the artwork. The visitor finds thus interest and discovers in a playful manner a different and complementary environment.
In conclusion, during the last few years, museums and patrimonial sites are trending towards "augmented reality" - whereas, every museum and heritage site's ultimately objective is to emphasize the best-proposed visitor experience and increase its notoriety.
The emotional perspective
The Atelier des Lumières is another way of viewing things, which opened in mid-April. This space was created by Culturespaces, proposing an important emotional experience to its visitors.
Our own partnerships' manager Ségolène was lucky to visit this installation and gave us a description of her experience:
"We push the door of this immense, very dark raw space and there are people everywhere: some were sat on the floor, others brought small folding chairs, children running ... Many tourists. Elements are projected on the walls, ceiling, and the ground, they vary according to the places, in the same time, like music that perfectly syncs with the visual elements.
There are corners, hidden hollows, closed circle areas, and even some space for the "bar." The experience has to be lived to exist!"
It is this perspective of a "visit experience" without chronology, without the need for particular knowledge and without preset constraints.
Information and novelties
Many businesses are also developing the consumers experience strategies thanks to the advantages of augmented reality; through setting up a display of movement and visualization.
Such is the case of the latest innovative application from the IKEA group which proposes customers to explore in the comfort of their homes a simulation of furnishing pieces in their rooms.
The IKEA application allows users to imagine decorative objects and furniture live, furthermore, this tool is capable of adapting the size of the piece of furniture according to room measurements. This is definitely a BETA version way of making your purchases.
Also relevant is the recently developed ZaraAR application Developed by the group Inditex, this app unfolds models on the phone screen. In addition to a creative user experience, connecting the user to the brand. Lastly the icon "shop the look" offers the possibility of buying articles carried by the model in augmented reality.