Deep-tech company partners with museums to bring AR to 20,000 students

Students in the UK and Thailand will get the chance to enjoy the museum, arts and culture sector through holographic augmented reality exhibitions that bring historic artefacts to life

A deep-tech company, supported by the UK government’s Department for International Trade’s Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP), has partnered with Imperial War Museums and the Science Museum Group to bring augmented reality (AR) experiences to 20,000 students.

Upon signing a Memorandum of Agreement, the company – named Perception – will give young people across the UK and Thailand the chance to explore holographic exhibitions.

The collaboration is set to bridge the tech and cultural spheres, combining cutting-edge desktop AR facilities with prized artefacts from both museums. Desktop AR is a system that allows any 2D monitor to emit holographic images, achieved by tracking user head positions and rendering 3D images accordingly.

The partnership comes at a pivotal time, with AR gaining rapid traction in tech industries at large – something which could easily be mirrored across the museum, arts and culture sector. Museums have struggled this past year with COVID-19 lockdowns leaving people unable to visit exhibitions, and technologies such as AR give museums the chance to share valuable historic artefacts to a wider global audience.

Both museums are set to grant Perception access to parts of their internationally-significant collections.

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“There is a real desire within the museums sector to reach new audiences and explore innovative ways of sharing their collections,” said Gill Webber, executive director of content and programmes at Imperial War Museums. “This technology is an exciting way to explore this and we are thrilled to be working with the Perception team on the project.”

“Digital exploration is part of our DNA so we’re really excited to be part of this project exploring the emerging holographic AR field…” – Jonathan Newby, Science Museum Group

Jonathan Newby, director of the Science Museum Group, commented: “Digital exploration is part of our DNA so we’re really excited to be part of this project exploring the emerging holographic AR field which will really help grow our understanding of both the creative potential and how audiences respond. We look forward to developing this relationship and seeing how our audiences can benefit from this exciting new technology.”

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