Development of augmented reality and virtual reality applications for museums

We are convinced that the evolution of the means of mediation is proof that museum institutions are adapting to new technologies. The potential of augmented reality and virtual reality also demonstrates that they are capable of transcending the visitor experience.

Image recognition, the fruit of artificial intelligence, allows the smartphone or any other digital equipment to recognize a point of interest (POI) such as a work of art, an architectural detail, etc. within a tour and to provide all the necessary and in-depth information about it. Thus, what the naked eye perceives as the reality of a 2D image, is augmented into enriched and stimulating content. An augmented reality application allows a higher user/viewer engagement than the rest of the features. It also limits audience isolation, while encouraging the exchange of experiences and information among visitors.

For virtual reality, we emphasize the advantages of total immersion, which gives the possibility of a very personal, intimate experience for the visitor. Through immersive 360° animations, the visitor enters directly into a faithful or extrapolated reconstruction of an environment and can interact with it.

These applications are meant to be scalable, depending on the hazards, which is why we always design them on a principle of intuitive and efficient content management. We offer a facilitated development for the administration in autonomy to the CMS to update or modify the visit course. For most of them, we choose to focus our development on the Unity tool. Action script language 3 and Adobe Air. We focus our development on object-oriented programming languages (Java, C++ and ActionScript 3) and adapted workflows (Adobe After Effect, Adobe Flash, Unity 3D, Cinema 4D, 3DS Max, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator). Unity 3D allows the creation of a 3D environment in real time and contains a physical engine used for the design of multimedia and interactive content. It enables development for computers, game consoles, mobile devices, and web browsers. Unity 3D also supports several programming languages such as C++, C#, Unity Script (similar to JavaScript), and Boo. It has a graphical part and a programming part.

he development revolves around assets (usable resources, such as a 3D object, a scene or a script) that are used with each other. The multimedia content is broken down into scenes. These scenes can be enhanced with 3D objects, lights,… We can add scripts to perform actions on any component of the scene. This is the principle that will allow us to create living and interactive scenes, calculated in real time. All the development code is commented in order to allow the understanding by a third person of the realized code.