Augmented reality is a new type of technology that tech companies are working to leverage for new innovations. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality, as the name implies, seeks to enhance or add to the world around users. The new Pokémon Go game is the most recent popular example of augmented reality: the game is integrated with the world around users, so they interact with game characters while walking around in the real world.
Gaming is only one small use for augmented reality, though, and no major companies have managed to leverage the full potential of this technology as yet. Now the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan will use the technology to enhance visitor experience.
Using the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, museum-goers can view extra graphics and information about exhibits. For example, viewing a plain-looking, beige sculpture through the device shows the user how the sculpture appeared when it was created, with the full colors of the Assyrian palace it was housed in. A user viewing the device while walking through a doorway will see ancient gates from the city of Babylon. Mummy remains viewed through the device show the user an image of the skeleton inside.
The new technology program will take advantage of Google’s new Tango technology, and this will be the first museum to use this innovative combination of 3-D mapping and augmented reality. The Lumin program will premier at the end of January, and the museum intends to seek user feedback for further development of the program.