Consortium to create immersive museum experiences

A collaboration between seven leading British organisations from the fields of culture, entertainment and education will reimagine the museum visits of the future.

Storytelling and virtual technology will create experiences that bring exhibits to life, as part of the consortium’s work.

The consortium is being led by creative content studio Factory 42. Members include the Almeida Theatre, Natural History Museum, Science Museum Group and the University of Exeter. The project will last for two years.

It is funded by a £4 million grant from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), as part of the wider Audiences of the Future initiative. Factory 42 and the museums are providing their own match funding, and further investment comes from Sky plc and Magic Leap.

Mixed reality technology

The latest mixed reality technology from Magic Leap will be combined with immersive theatre to create two adventure game visitor experiences.

At the Natural History Museum, dinosaurs will be brought to life and visitors will experience the detective work of palaeontologists.

At the Science Museum Group, visitors will encounter a mixed-reality detective experience featuring high-resolution 3D scans of robots.

Natural History Museum Director of Engagement, Clare Matterson, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be collaborating with partners at the vanguard of new tech, culture, entertainment and academia to deliver what promises to be a breath-taking new experience for our visitors. Mixed-reality technology offers boundless potential for innovation for bringing our dynamic collection and the work of our scientists to life like never before.”

Director and Group Executive of the Science Museum Group, Sir Ian Blatchford, 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.”