Eye of the Veholder: AR Extending and Blending of Museum Objects and Virtual Collections
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Enhanced and innovative museum exhibitions are enabled by collaborative use of Augmented Reality, interconnecting collections and complementing physical with relevant virtual objects for all participants. Carefully assembling related objects from multiple collections benefits museum visitors and researchers, cohering experiences in a blended collection environment. We propose collaboration between suitable institutions to develop a Veholder (Virtual Environment for Holdings and Online Digital Educational Repositories) community project. This should help share key museum holdings, rich sources of material for general learning and focussed research, which otherwise remain hidden in storage or in distant repositories. While preserving natural and cultural heritage, this collaborative AR approach can extend the wider impact of collections, aiding our overall understanding, deeper appreciation, and shared knowledge. Discussions about research-based specialist collections held at the Universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen have indicated keen interest in further development, with additional partnering institutions and funding options being actively sought.
KeywordsAugmented reality Museums Virtual collections Blended collections 360 viewing 3D scanning Calibration and real-world scaling
This exploration grew in part from the presentations and discussions at the Augmented Reality conference IFITTtalk@Manchester, in November 2016, and the author wishes to thank Timothy Jung and all the Creative AR and VR Hub group. Special thanks for the ongoing support and collaboration go to the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of Cambridge, in particular Robert Foley, Marta Mirazon Lahr, Fabio Lahr, Federica Crivellaro, Frances Rivera, and Alex Wilshaw. Special mention goes to Emily Fricke, visiting Summer Intern from Bucknell University. Additional thanks go to the collaborating partners from Statens Naturhistoriske Museum (SNM), University of Copenhagen, in particular Peter Kjærgaard, Anders Drud Jordan, and Nikolaj Scharff. Special mention goes to project collaborator Richard Mee.
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