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Innovation and culture: A hypnotic combination in museums with virtual reality

The combination of culture and technological innovation is the basis of the development of the majority of the most important museums. Here are some examples.

Innovation changes everything. It changes our surroundings, it modifies our behaviour, it changes our culture and the way it is recorded in history. Museums are where we can discover the past, the present and the possibilities for our future. Innovation broadens and renovates this vision to give rise to new ways of interpreting the history that we find there.

The combination of culture and technological innovation is the basis for the development of the majority of the most important museums nowadays. There are countless examples and they are of all different kinds, including the following: Art, history, science and fashion.

 

Surround yourself with culture in virtual spaces

What if it were possible to discover culture much more hypnotically? Come face-to-face with the landscapes in your favourite paintings, discover the archaeological history of a territory interactively or go down into the depths of the ocean to enjoy the fauna.

One of the most recent innovative applications in culture has been virtual reality. One of its uses is to create interactive experiences and its expansion represents a before and after in how information can be displayed. This tool started to be used less than a decade ago and can already be found in the most important centres in each city.

There are endless possibilities. In Greece, the goddess Athena herself is the guide in the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Olympia. She is a very special guest for an initiative that aims to encourage learning and the discovery of culture through technological innovation.

The digitalisation of the design enables visitors to enjoy the works that can be found in museums, but in their own homes. The Salvador Dalí Museum has also integrated virtual reality into its events with "Dreams of Dalí', which enables you to discover in detail the work entitled "Archaeological Reminiscence Millet's Angelus" that you can see in the centre itself, but also on mobile phones and virtual reality devices.

 

Immersive innovation: Integrating technology and culture into the museum

Enter a new world where you will discover culture like never before: This is the aim of virtual reality. But innovation in culture has also been developed using other tools and we should not forget what museums actually have to teach us. What if we were to combine technological innovation and the works themselves found in these centres?

Augmented reality is integrated into museums as a model that can take us beyond what museums can simply display. Extending the senses to introduce the history and the development of the exhibits that we can see physically. The City of Antequera Museum is a great example: Visitors can use an application on their mobile phones to see, in real time using their camera, a guide who gives detailed explanations of what they have in front of them. You can see more details of how it works in the following video:

The National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid has also taken up this initiative and uses augmented reality as a tool to attract both children and adults. Discover the history and development of the exhibits and the activities you can join in include games with the dinosaurs themselves.

 

Rediscover art from within with #laluzdelapintura

The integration of the most innovative technology in how culture is exhibited helps to expand more people's knowledge, while enabling them to enjoy history in a much more entertaining and inclusive way.

#laluzdelapintura is a project that was created with this idea as a basis to open up culture to the public and share the art found in museums in an increasingly technological world. It aims to create the illusion of being inside the painting, to understand the painting in a different way, as if it had been created in three dimensions.

In 2017 together with the Thyssen museum, we published 12 videos of works of the museum in 3D to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Metropolis, by George Grosz, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, by Jan Brueghel and The Dream, by Franz Marc are some of the works that can be enjoyed from this new point of view. Innovative techniques are used to replicate the effect in three dimensions so the user goes right into the painting and discovers it in a different way.

Because of the above and to celebrate International Museum Day, in 2018 we went one step further and launched this project again by means of an experience using virtual reality. Visitors could use this technology to get right inside a selection of first-person paintings, including great works by authors ranging from Van Gogh to Mondrian.

The latest technologies enable you to cross the border between the painting and reality so you can enjoy one of the first experiences that have used this technology in a museum. Specifically, this experience was developed by HP and IED Innovation Lab with the most outstanding new developments in the structures and in the VR technology, to completely transform the way visitors interact with art.

The flowers in a Dutch still life, the meadows in Auvers and the streets of New York. Those who had the opportunity to enjoy this experience discovered things in some paintings that until now could only be enjoyed viewing the canvas. A new perspective for a technological combination that left no one indifferent.

Innovation has the ability to transform and completely change the way we relate to culture. Virtual reality and augmented reality are tools that cannot only be used to encourage people to discover the museums in their cities, but also to encourage learning. The combination of technological innovation and culture gives us an option that should not be missed.

*Main image from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum".

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