he Smithsonian has 19 world-class museums, galleries, gardens, and even a zoo. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the museums and galleries remain closed. However, the Smithsonian have created a virtual way for visitors to see the Smithsonian, with augmented reality.
On wednesday, the organisation released ten augmented reality filters on the Instagram platform for virtual visitors to see artifacts up-close using the app’s camera. Users are able to place filters, including a life sized AR triceratops and a space shuttle in their home.
The augmented reality filter walks through interesting facts about the artifacts and encourages users to take a photo with the artifact. The experience created by Smithsonian is a fun and engaging way to keep visitors exploring the vast collection of artifacts.
With augmented reality technology, users can get an intimate look at at the artifacts, including a skeletal mammoth courtesy of the National Museum of Natural History, a green hat by milliner Vanilla Beane from the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “Cosmic Buddha” of the National Museum of Asian Art’s collection as well as Platform boots from The Wiz which actually dance in front of the user.
Smithsonian partnered with Instagram to expand its educational offerings with augmented reality, through the Spark AR platform. Art enthusiasts can virtually travel and see works from France’s Palace of Versailles and Le Grand Palais.
Virtual visitors are able to click through the descriptions to see the item's origins and learn about its history.
Smithsonian’s augmented reality experience is a shining example of keeping visitors engaged while the museums and galleries remain closed. Augmented reality is part of a greater expansion into digital archiving that makes these fascinating artifacts more accessible to everyone.