It was only a matter of time. We’ve already seen digital graffiti in an art museum, and now the exhibitors themselves are getting in on the action. The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities is set to start using Microsoft Hololens headsets to provide augmented reality exhibitions for its visitors. Better yet, they can be used to show antiques which cannot otherwise be displayed.
As it stands, the museum, located in Leiden on the west coast of the Netherlands, is only able to showcase around 20 percent of its collection due to space considerations and the condition of some of its antiquities. With the Hololens, it’s hoped that it can give people a look at much more of what it has on offer, but in an augmented reality, digital form.
It will also be possible to make regular changes to what’s on show and to augment existing exhibitions. One that is currently under construction, the Egyptian-themed Temple of Teffeh, will be kitted out with relevant digital artefacts, giving people the feel of the ancient temple, despite it being an exhibit that is many decades old.
Other features that are being implemented to augment the experience of visiting the museum include prompt points for more information, and virtual breadcrumbs, shown as footprints, which help guide visitors to particular parts of the museum. It’s easy to imagine how such features could be expanded to make navigation, as well as information, easier to get to grips with in a museum setting [thanks MSPowerUser].
While the program is currently in its infancy, the Museum of Antiquities expects to expand the scheme in the future, potentially offering much more to digital viewers. It also believes that such hardware could one day become commonplace, and could be rented out to visitors much in the same way that museums loan out audio guidebooks now.
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