Virtual tours of museums, VR tours, and digital excursions have been around for over a decade. They are popular with visitors from all over the world due to their accessibility and convenient format.
Hundreds of companies create virtual tours of museums around the world with the help of digital technologies. They develop virtual tours for children and adults with real landmarks. And now there is a trend not only to create a virtual tour of the museum but also to add gamification and interactions with the digital world.
The aim of virtual tours is to attract children and teenagers to visit landmarks, museums, and exhibitions. Presenting information in a gamified format from any corner of the world increases interest and desire to learn more about the topic.
That’s why museums are increasingly creating their own platforms, collaborating with global companies, or choosing metaverses for transferring tours into a virtual environment. In this article we will show cases of virtual tours of museums around the world that have created their own virtual tours.
Virtual Tours of the British National Museum
The museum collaborated with Oculus experts who worked on transferring exhibits for virtual tours of museums around the world when creating this tour. They scanned the Sainsbury wing, which houses Renaissance art objects using Matterport 3D camera technology.
Visitors of the virtual tour can walk through the galleries of the Renaissance gallery using VR goggles and read information about all exhibits. It appears in a separate window next to the exhibits when hovering over interactive points.
The virtual tour can also be visited without a VR headset. It is also available to owners of PCs and smartphones on the museum’s website. The 360 virtual tour looks like a walk through points on panoramic images.
- Entry devices for the location are PCs or smartphones using a web browser;
- The number of visits to the location is 111,000 people.
Virtual Tours of the Useless Palace in Dubai in Spatial
The Inloco street art gallery from Dubai has transferred its exhibits to the Spatial metaverse. The virtual exhibition Useless Palace almost exactly replicates the real street art exhibition in the desert.
The team of an interactive technology studio named hptx organized a virtual tour, recreating the desert and art space, trying to convey the atmosphere of the place. All pieces of art from the exhibition were scanned, and some of them were animated by developers to complement the idea of the painting.
- Devices for entering Spatial — smartphone, PC or VR headset;
- The size of the app for smartphones is 245 MB;
- Entry from PC — from the web browser;
- Number of location visits — 700 people.
VR Tour of 5 Museums in VR Museum Tour Grand Collection
The VR Museum Tour Grand Collection app features virtual tours from the collections of five historic museums. Developers created a virtual tour of landmarks in a virtual museum complex.
Developers added musical motifs from millennia ago to the game to immerse visitors in the history of specific countries. Because of this, layers become more immersed in the culture of ancient peoples. Interactivity and immersion in the atmosphere through audio are another plus — the use of virtual reality in tourism.
Gamification is integrated into the application to make the study of history more interesting. Players can randomly find treasure chests containing ancient riches while examining works of art.
- Devices for entering the game — PC or VR headset;
- App size — 2 GB;
- App reviews — 4 mixed reviews.
National Museum of Korea in Minecraft and Zepeto
There are organizations that have already created their locations in several metaverses. The National Museum of Korea first created its world in the Minecraft metaverse. Players could visit an exact replica of the building in Seoul and examine all the 3D landmarks on this server. Creators recreated all the exhibition halls and added gamification to generate interest among young audiences to explore the history and culture of Korea.
Virtual tourism as a new form of tourism was popular among children, so the organization decided to create a more extensive project on another platform. For this, the National Museum of Korea chose the Zepeto children’s metaverse.
Creators have designed a space in Peaceful Hill that combines nature and collections from the National Museum in a harmonious way, rather than creating an exact replica of the museum. Visitors can stroll around the map and decorate the Buddha statue, or find hidden precious stones scattered throughout the area. The museum allows visitors to come with their friends, chat in outdoor relaxation areas, or meditate on rocks.
- Devices for entering Zepeto — smartphone;
- Zepeto size — 360 MB;
- Number of location visits — 83,000 people;
- Discovery Tour user rating — 93% positive reviews.
And if you want to bring exhibits from your gallery or exhibition to the metaverse, contact us at the BeFuture metaverse studio. Our specialists will help you choose a suitable platform for your audience, create a location, and organize an event.
VR Tours of the Miyakonojo Civic Center Museum-theater in VRChat
Visitors can explore an old Japanese abandoned theater in the VRChat metaverse. It was scanned and transferred to virtual space before being demolished. As a result of this, anyone can take a virtual tour and see the history of the no-longer-existing theater at any time.
The creators of Miyakonojo Civic Center scanned the entire building and created a photorealistic space. Visitors can walk through each floor of the theater and peek into every room.
Visitors can use photographs and panoramic projections to get a better look at what the theater looked like before demolition. They are located next to the objects they depict.
- Devices for entering VRChat — PC or VR headset.
- App size — 1 GB;
- Number of location visits — 10,000 people.
Kung Fu Temple in the Chinese Metaverse Xi Rang
Chinese technology company Baidu demonstrated its metaverse in the form of a large city. One of the 3D landmarks on the Xi Rang platform is the martial arts temple.
Users can enjoy peace and tranquility on the grounds of the Shaolin Temple. They can also participate in real kung fu training. Developers have added lots of interactions with NPCs and the environment to engage visitors.
- Devices for entering Xi Rang — computer, phone, or VR headset;
- Access to Xi Rang — entry into the app is possible only by invitation on Chinese territory.
Egyptian Museum in Assassin’s Creed Origins
Ubisoft has developed a special museum mode in the popular computer game Assassin’s Creed Origins. The developers released a special DLC Discovery Tour, that allows visitors to learn about the history of Ancient Egypt.
Ubisoft employees consulted with history teachers when organizing the virtual tour. They talked about what information would be the most interesting to learn for children, so that the game could be a virtual tour for schoolchildren.
Then the studio turned to Egyptologists who wrote excursion plans. The developers divided all the received information into 75 tours for easier digestion.
The developers disabled NPC aggression in Discovery Tour mode to make sure nothing interfered with learning the story. In the original game, animals and people could attack the player, which made it impossible to walk through the locations calmly.
During the virtual educational tour, the user is immersed in the life of the people of Egypt by simulating their lives. The user can even try the same actions as the NPC. For example, baking bread in an ancient oven.
The player is accompanied by a narrated voice and subtitles in addition to the information next to the 3D sights. They provide information about the structure of everyday life, which you can’t learn about in textbooks. For example, the developers have added elements of realistic injuries that the Egyptians suffered because of the sand while eating.
- The devices to enter the game are PC;
- The size of Discovery Tour add-on is 42 GB;
- Discovery Tour rating from users on Metacritic is 8.5 out of 10.
A Sunken British Ship in Britannic: Patroness of the Mediterranean
Britannic: Patroness of the Mediterranean is an interactive virtual museum. Players can explore every detail of the HMHS Britannic and learn about its history. The game is designed as a virtual educational tour.
The developers recreated a simulation of the sinking of a ship that went to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea during World War I. For this purpose the studio used the results of researches and works of British historians.
Thanks to Britannic: Patroness of the Mediterranean every player can explore one of the largest ships of Britain from the inside. This is an example of a virtual tour of an object that no longer exists in reality, but we can see it in a virtual environment.
- Devices to enter the location are a PC or VR headset;
- The size of the game is 17 GB;
- The number of reviews of the game — 700 pcs., mostly positive.
Virtual sights from the real world help draw the audience’s attention to cultural heritage. And gamification makes the learning process more interesting for the audience. This is the difference between the possibilities of a virtual tour and an ordinary physical walk through the halls.
Such content is especially interesting for the audience of children and teenagers, so it is a good step to popularize virtual tours for schoolchildren.
In this article we’ve collected cases with scanned panoramic halls of museums, VR-tours through 3D locations and simulations of historical events:
- The British National Museum launched a VR tour of the halls with Renaissance exhibits;
- Useless palace’s virtual exhibition includes all the exhibits from Inloco, a real street art gallery from Dubai;
- The VR Museum Tour Grand Collection app has created five tours of collections from various museums;
- The National Museum of Korea moved a replica of its building into Minecraft. And then created a space in the Zepeto meta-universe that combines nature and its exhibits;
- Enthusiasts scanned and moved the Miyakonojo Civic Center theater as a museum to the VRChat platform before demolition;
- Developers added an interactive Kung Fu temple for recreation and martial arts training to the Xi Rang meta-universe;
- Ubisoft created Discovery Tour mode for Assassin’s Creed Origins with details about Ancient Egyptian people;
- The developers of Britannic: Patroness of the Mediterranean recreated an interactive simulation of the sinking of the ship HMHS Britannic.
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