The augmented museum experience.
We did a Design Sprint on June of 2018 in order to analyze which technology would be interesting for the Museum. We ran several tests on real users and concluded that AR would be an interesting way to enhance the user experience inside the museum. We decided to organize and curate a temporary art exhibition and also think of a way in which AR could stay in the museum In September we held an open call for local artists. During October and November, we worked together with each artist to expand their works of art with AR. In the meantime, we worked together with the Museum to merge AR with their permanent collection and with the building itself.
The app was the tool that allowed AR to combine with art. Users only had to open it and focus each piece of art of our exhibit with their phone cameras in order to unveil the hidden sounds, music, animations and 3D objects. This apps also augmented some iconic spots and artworks of the Museum.
The apps work with Android and iOS in any device with iOS 12 or higher or 4.4 Kitkat or higher. This was challenging because it forced us to test the app with a wide range of devices and scan every work of art several times with different lighting or from different angles.
We started the research working with ARCore in Android and ARKit 1 in iOS. In the middle of the whole process Apple launched ARKit 2, which was great. ARCore in Android didn’t work out as we expected in the short run so we switched to EasyAR which isn’t the official library but supported way more devices.
We focused on creating a clean, simple and intuitive look & feel that didn’t interrupt the users’ experience while moving around the exhibition.
During the process we’ve learned a lot and discovered a zillion potential uses AR has. We had to test and test and test until we got every work of art right. We also had to learn how to work together with artists and combine ideas, technical limits and, most importantly, deadlines.