What will museums look like in the future? How will AI and mixed reality shape the way we consume science and culture?
A pioneering collaboration led by creative content studio Factory 42 and including the Science Museum Group, Natural History Museum, Almeida Theatre, and the University of Exeter will look to answer these questions and reimagine the future of museums by using storytelling and cutting-edge technology that will allow you the visitor to experience them like never before.
Set to launch in 2020, at the Science Museum, visitors will encounter a mixed-reality detective experience featuring high-resolution 3D scans of robots and other iconic objects from its collection, to bring the latest in robotics and artificial intelligence to life. Over at the Natural History Museum, dinosaurs from their collection will be brought to life and visitors will experience the detective work of palaeontologists and share the thrill of scientific discovery.
Sir Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group said: “We tell stories of world-changing innovations so I am delighted that, through this collaboration with our creative partners, we will be able to build new immersive worlds, where robots and automata can be experienced like never before, where people can engage with science and engineering in new and exciting ways, and where our audiences can glimpse the future of storytelling.”
The project, Funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will mix real-life physical environments where you can touch, smell and hear things with magical digital technologies, interacting with museum objects in ways not normally possible.
Factory 42 and the museums are also backing the project with their own match funding and further financial investment has been made by UK entertainment group Sky plc and Magic Leap, the US spatial computing company. Digital education company Pearson and shopping centres group intu plc are providing strategic support.
The world-class creative team will include some of the UK’s leading theatre directors, computer game designers and developers, 3D audio, multi-sensory technologists, animators, graphic designers, writers, actors, artists and researchers collaborating with museum curators and academics.
Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, said: “The UK is home to some of the world’s leading digital and creative talent. Through our modern Industrial Strategy and multi-million pound creative industries sector deal, we are bringing them together to give audiences a truly unique experience.
“The growth of immersive technology has the power to transform the way in which we watch theatre, play games or go to the cinema, and these new projects will demonstrate how we can take people closer than ever before to the live action.”
John Cassy, Factory 42 Chief Executive, said: “For millions of visitors each year a visit to the Natural History Museum or Science Museum is not complete without an encounter with robots or dinosaurs. Thanks to the magic of technology and the minds of some brilliant technologists, creatives and scientists, audiences will soon be able to see, smell, hear and touch robots and dinosaurs as part of a group of family or friends. Factory 42 is thrilled to have assembled and now be leading this world-class consortium as we set out to break new ground and reimagine how a trip to a museum will entertain and inform visitors in the future.”