In recent years, our way of experiencing the world is rapidly changing, thanks to the use of new extraordinary technologies. The museum sector is adapting to this digital revolution by adopting cutting-edge technologies, such as augmented reality, which is used to innovate the visit and the fruition of the treasures it holds.


1. More information and engaging content

Do you know the classic audio guide you find inside museums? Well, we didn’t use a random adjective to define this tool: the audio guide is indeed obsolete. Although many museums still offer it, the audio guide is leaving space for innovative apps that offer more information and engaging content.

For example, KeyARt and Project ARM are two mobile apps that allow you to access many augmented reality content such as video, audio, text and details by scanning the artwork with the smartphone camera.

It may sound commonplace, but apps like those just mentioned really allow — even non-experts — to enjoy a deep and new fruition of an art collection and its masterpieces.


2. Art comes to life thanks to spectacular AR animations

Pushing our gaze beyond what we see is maybe one of the tasks of art, but to do this, we should connect to the artwork and cross the boundaries of reality.

 Thanks to the spectacular nature of augmented reality, today we don’t need to strive that much to imagine the extraordinary world that lies behind a painting or a sculpture: all we have to do is pointing towards the artwork with our smartphones to see fantastic special effects and unique animations that can “bring to life” exciting details, such as the intriguing smile of the Mona Lisa or even the wingspan of a pterodactyl extinguished millions of years ago.


3. Games and lots of fun with AR

If the vision of a “flesh and blood” dinosaur can amaze young and old, imagine the fun that can come from a treasure hunt where the objects to “catch” are the artworks, to be discovered thanks to augmented reality!

The MANN-Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, one of the most important art sites in the world, has created the video game “Father and Son”: an historical-cultural adventure that combines the 2D narrative scheme with augmented reality and social gaming to engage visitors through a journey to discover the artworks, the halls of the museum and even the streets of the Neapolitan city, both ancient and contemporary.


4. AR to visit the museum without getting lost

In addition to the arousal of amusement and engagement, augmented reality can become a very useful tool to guide visitors through the indoor spaces of galleries and museums without problems.

 Thanks to the integration of this technology into the digital maps of the museum, in fact, you can be instantly aware of the exact position of the artwork that you want to admire and reach it by following the path in AR without getting lost or wasting precious time!


5. Artworks and art installations in augmented reality

Until now we have talked about artwork “enhanced” by augmented reality, but many contemporary artists use this powerful technology as an integral part of their creations or installations. This is the case of the AR Art Exhibition — Mirages and Miracle, the work of the two digital artists Adrien M & Claire B, who have experimented with new forms of art exploiting the possibilities offered by augmented reality, giving visitors an entirely new experience.