September 18, 2019

Augmented Reality Experiences for Museums: Three Success Stories

Wikitude Premium Partner, Wezit Transmedia Solutions, has been creating innovative digital experiences for the cultural, retail, and communications sectors since 2011. This article focuses on three successful AR apps the agency has created for French museums and cultural institutions. 

Continue reading to learn more about how augmented reality is playing a role in the museum user experience:


Living museum: botanical garden featuring augmented wildlife

AR technology is attracting new generations by bringing a touch of playfulness and innovation in the garden’s tour, consolidating brand awareness and appreciation.

The Jean-Marie Pelt Botanical Garden is one of the largest of its kind in France. The institution cultivates 12.000 plant species across 35 hectares of land and 2.500 m² of tropical greenhouses. Visitors come from all over the world to admire rare and endangered flora and extraordinary and unusual plants.

This living botanical museum, however, has a few new digital residents which are revealed during an innovative augmented reality tour. 

Application Jardin Botanique Grand Nancy

The augmented reality tours take place in the tropical greenhouses and include 20 interactive and educational games for kids and visitors of all ages to enjoy. During the AR tour, digitally augmented animals seamlessly appear blending in with the garden premises, as seen below:

Each 3D animation is accompanied by a story and a purpose that complements the message that the botanical garden touring specialists want to tell. To enjoy the AR tours, visitors can either download the Jardin Botanique Grand Nancy app on their own devices (Android / iOS) or rent a tablet at the reception.

Digitalized Gauguin art with a detailed 360-degree view

A comprehensive art-exposition app includes augmented reality technology to integrate detailed 3D models, allowing users to observe art pieces up close as if it were in their hands.

The collaboration between Wikitude and Wezit started with the launch of an application for the RMN in Paris in 2016, entitled “Gauguin L’alchimiste”.  The exhibition, held from October 2017 to January 2018, examined the remarkable complementarity of Gauguin’s creations in the field of painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts. It emphasized the modernity of the artist’s creative process and his ability to continually push the limits of each medium. 

This exhibit combined a vast number of artworks, exposing Gauguin creations in different media, paintings, sculptures, graphics, as well as decorative arts.  

AR apps for museums: RMN

To gain a better understanding of Gauguin’s artistic approach, the Museum wanted to offer multiple digital tools for mediation, publishing, and communication, based in particular on a major 3D capture and modeling campaign.

AR apps for museum with 3D visualization

A total of thirty works of art were digitized with very high precision. For this task, the RMN referred to its own photography agency using an exact 3D scanning technique, allowing visitors to explore and appreciate Gauguin’s work from a different point of view, revealing many details of:  

  • 21 Ceramics and carved wood elements 
  • 11 Paintings  

The exhibition ended with an evocation of Gauguin’s hut – called Maison du Jouir. One hundred years ago, on May 8, 1903, Paul Gauguin died, isolated from the world in Atuona, in the Marquesas Islands. At the exhibition, visitors could see a hologram of the hut and his art pieces, as seen below:

Wezit Technical Director, François Roirand, says AR has the potential to create impactful experiences that remain in the memory of museum visitors, and he believes that  “a combination of the right code and the right data, painting, ceramics and other elements of the exhibit are easily identified, creating a user experience wow factor at their fingertips… This solution can be easily added creating a lasting memory in the visitor’s experience, these little “magical” things last in their minds, an app beyond the tangible…” 

Augmented content attached to modern robot-assisted art

Temporary art exhibition becomes timeless, allowing users to visit and revisit its artworks with the help of augmented reality technology.

An exhibit called ‘Artists and Robots’ held at the Paris Grand Palais in 2018 allowed visitors to experiment with the works created by artists with the help of robots. Augmented reality features were added to the visitor guide app to provide relevant content in an immersive, compelling, and innovative way.

By scanning an art installation, or the exhibition catalog, users get access to detailed information about the artists, their works, the exhibition, and more.

With the intention of helping visitors before, during, and even after the exhibition exploration, the AR guide app allows users to obtain information instantly. 

Apart from the free AR content and the possibility to learn more about the artists, artworks and the entire exhibition itself, voyaging room by room, the visitor guide application also offers in-app-purchase options of audio-guided courses in French, English or for children. Visitors can download Artistes et Robots, free of charge, at Google Play or the App Store.

Robot Art Installation Uses Augmented Reality At The Grand Palais

The museum AR experiences detailed above are powered with Wikitude AR technology. Wezit Technical Director says that “there are many other AR options out in the market, but Wikitude is a trustworthy and reliable brand. Their AR platform implementation is easy to use and efficient. We can count on Wikitude not only technology-wise, but they also provide exceptional customer support.” 

Augmented reality Workshop for museums

AR Workshop: learn how to create AR apps for museums

Want to learn how to implement AR in your museum? Wikitude and Wezit will be hosting an AR Workshop for museums in Vienna.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the value of augmented reality for museums
  • Know how to identify opportunities for AR in your institution
  • Learn about best practices in the market
  • Understand how Wikitude and Wezit can help your journey to AR

Don’t miss the unique opportunity to learn from the AR technology providers and AR app developers themselves. Click the link below to register:

Want to dive deeper into the AR & Museum topic? Explore Wezit’s 5 main reasons why museums are (or should be!) using AR technology.

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Augmented Reality Experiences for Museums: Three Success Stories - WikitudeWikitude