Integrating augmented reality in a museum environment.

The inspiration for this project came from a report by the UK government in 2017 titled the “Mendoza Report”. Combined with performance indicators for fifteen museums in England released in 2018, the data shown that museum curators were reluctant to showcase artefacts that were currently kept in storage due to factors such as fragility, logistics and more. This along with dropping visitor rates since 2015 found from the same data published above shown that were was a problem that could possible be solved by augmented reality? 

After more research this spawned my dissertation question:

  • Could Augmented Reality applications increase engagement and awareness of historical and cultural items in a museum environment on location and off-site using a pipeline based on the ARCO framework?

This blog post will walk you through the practical portion of this project ultimately delivering on an open source/free framework and Android application that a museum can integrate into showcasing artefacts and objects in AR to encourage more visitors.

If you are interested in reading the full dissertation the link will be available soon below.

The diagram shown above visualizes the ingest of 3D scanned data into Blender so that a suitable mobile optimized asset can be created.

Metadata is added into the database along with internal data such as fule location, file size, metadata tags etc.

Content is imported into Unity and set up using a simple level system that allows the limits to be pushed for the display of 3D models. Further tests needed to be conducted to find the upper ceiling of data an asset can contain in terms of polycount and texture resolution. So far, models can be displayed between 35k and 133k thousand polys and all textures between 1024 and 2048 depending on complexity of models.

The diagram shown above visualizes the ingest of 3D scanned data into Blender so that a suitable mobile optimized asset can be created.

Metadata is added into the database along with internal data such as fule location, file size, metadata tags etc.

Content is imported into Unity and set up using a simple level system that allows the limits to be pushed for the display of 3D models. Further tests needed to be conducted to find the upper ceiling of data an asset can contain in terms of polycount and texture resolution. So far, models can be displayed between 35k and 133k thousand polys and all textures between 1024 and 2048 depending on complexity of models.

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