What’s all the fuss with regard to the use of augmented reality exhibit labelling for heritage attractions you may ask? Please note that we’re talking here solely about augmented reality (AR) accessed on the visitors’ own mobile phone.
And yes, a worthy question indeed – there certainly are brilliant problem-solving advantages to be gained:
Solve problems using augmented reality exhibit labelling:
1. Lack of space
Say you have a particularly impressive artefact at your heritage attraction. You want to provide deeper contextual information for visitors. But you don’t want massive interpretation boards cluttered around the setting. Augmented reality exhibit labelling can be a great ally in getting round this difficult issue.
2. A fascinating story
You have an incredible exhibit that is really worth going-to-town over. You’d like to deliver a sequence of thought-provoking images alongside text to give visitors a deeper insight. But you don’t want additional labels and signage. Yes, this is all possible in augmented reality (AR), without additional clutter.
3. Getting a better view
Perhaps you want visitors to be able to see all the way round an artefact. It’s currently situated in a position that’s difficult for visitors to reach. Consider a 3D scan of the artefact built within an AR experience. Interactive rotation and context screens could be added. This would be a fine solution.
4. A new experience
You’d like to deliver a new exhibit and information to visitors relating to your attraction. But you don’t have the physical assets required to tell the story. Consider recreating in AR and using augmented reality exhibit labelling to provide the context.
5. Making your archive visible
You have amazing objects in your archive that you’d like to make visible. Perhaps you’ve run out of floor space to display these artefacts. You could make these visible with augmented reality and use AR labelling to tell their story.
A relatively new concept – augmented reality exhibit labelling
As a company, we’re still discovering new ways to use augmented reality for heritage attractions. Augmented reality exhibit labelling, otherwise called digital labelling, is something that’s not mainstream. Certainly this is the case in terms of specialist heritage sector consultancies supplying this product. It’s an exciting time in terms of the range of new possibilities available to present exhibits to visitors.
Still not too well understood (AR)
Augmented reality has been around for a number of years now. It’s still a relatively new emergent media, and its applications are not too well understood. There are many advantages to be gained, particularly for historic attractions where their remit is storytelling. As app developers here at App Studio UX, we’re always happy to discuss the possibilities for your attraction.
Using augmented reality exhibit labelling
Of course, augmented reality has to be used with sensitivity. There are concerns that AR could be thought of as being a gimmick. Another concern is that visitors will become less absorbed in their surroundings. Also, use of AR has to be considered in terms of applications and also light levels. Outside experiences won’t have the visual impact that they would inside a building due to higher levels of ambient light.
Ultimately you want visitors to absorb and enjoy the setting of the heritage attraction. AR should be viewed as a way to enhance information delivery. But you don’t want visitors spending all their time glued to their mobile screen. Certainly, there is a fine balance to be stuck when implementing AR at heritage sites.
You may wish to research AR use further for your museum/heritage attraction. There’s an excellent article relating to museums, that was produced in Oct 2018, which discusses this subject area. We’d add that since this article was written (6 years ago), technology for AR has improved dramatically.
It’s important to note that both mobile phone processing and software continues to advance. Average screen sizes have also increased – the trend is for increasingly larger mobile screens generally. There are now two very solid mainstream players to support AR experiences on mobile phones. These AR players run on mobile phones using both Apple and Android operating systems. Additionally, many heritage attractions now have decent quality wifi provision installed for visitors at their site.
There’s one important issue that you need to be aware of when using augmented reality at heritage attractions – important consideration.