Historical Museum creates an Innovative Immersive Experience with Microsoft HoloLens

 In CraneMorley, Mixed Reality Industry Insight

After 30 years the M Leuven museum in St. Peter’s Church in Belgium has finally been fully restored. Restorations were not the only new thing museum visitors notice. In addition to restorations, the M Leuven museum revealed a new innovative immersive experience.

This new interactive experience utilizes the power of Mixed Reality and Microsoft HoloLens for a completely different experience than ever before. The M Leuven museum is the first of its kind to use the HoloLens in a cultural environment.  Some visitors have described the experience like you “stepped into the artwork”.

Historical Museum creates an Innovative Immersive Experience with Microsoft HoloLens

So how does this experience differ from any other interactive museum experience? Unlike the two most common interactive experiences where a sign will explain the display, or an exploration method takes users through a series of events. The HoloLens takes users into the paintings and brings individual figures up close. As users interact with paintings, the experience is like the artist or expert is sharing secrets or detail information about each part.

As you see within the video shown below everything is in the HoloLens users’ field of view. This eliminates the need for any labels, signage, and place cards that create clutter and take museum visitors attention away from the beauty of the church and paintings.

As you see within the video shown below everything is in the HoloLens users’ field of view. This eliminates the need for any labels, signage, and placards that create clutter and take museum visitors attention away from the beauty of the church and paintings.

Other benefits of an immersive experience are difficult to view artwork throughout the church like the beautiful triumphal cross above the altar, a masterpiece from around 1490 by sculptor Jan Borman II. The artwork located near the top of the church can be difficult to view let alone the fine details within the masterpiece. The HoloLens virtually transports users in front of the artwork and allows them to walk around to view different angles like they are standing near the top of the church.

This use case has the potential to expand and be implemented in other museums. In the future we might not need tour guides. As a on demand recording will walk users through the museum. A personalize feature is another benefit to keep an eye out for. Users will be able to interact with the HoloLens and decide if they want to learn everything about a painting or a summary.

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