Dinosaurs and robots

Transforming museum experience: Advances in virtual and augmented reality bring science to life

The Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future programmes are supporting a series of immersive experiences that allow audiences to enjoy museums in brand new ways.

Combining mixed-reality technology and immersive theatre with new academic audience analysis, ‘Dinosaurs and Robots’ is a demonstrator project that aims to transform the traditional static museum experience into a rich encounter where objects come to life. Creative co-directors the Almeida Theatre and immersive-content studio Factory 42 will develop two mixed-reality visitor experiences supported by scientists and curators from the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum Group.

Launching in 2020 at the Natural History Museum, visitors will be able to ‘meet’ and ‘interact’ with a cast of digital dinosaurs; at the Science Museum, robots and artificial intelligences will be the stars of the show. Visitors will be immersed in a multisensory environment where they can shape their own narratives and experience the work of palaeontologists and scientists.

Researchers at the University of Exeter, co-funded by Sky and the UK arm of US spatial computing firm Magic Leap, will measure the impact on audiences and so inform the design of future exhibits. This work will involve: novel data-retrieval methods relating to eye-tracking and biometrics; the pinpointing of psychological antecedents for positive visitor experiences using mixed reality and objective physiological indicators; and identification of physiological markers that help improve the design and personalisation of museum experiences.


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