If during the lockdown the race for “virtual tours” – which allowed from their own sofa at home to explore spaces and wonders of our artistic and cultural heritage – represented an interesting alternative to physical visits, at the dawn of the new normal, museums , archaeological parks and creative industries can choose to use virtual or augmented reality to expand their offer. Easy to say, but in practice this choice does not always fit into an overall strategic vision.
From the Civita “Next generation culture” report it emerges that “the quantity of online experience offered by museums during the last year has not been able to guarantee the construction of a continuous and meaningful digital relationship with users”. The attention of the public, in fact, at first intrigued and motivated by the “virtual tours”, should therefore be kept high through a diversified schedule, inspired by the emotional imprint that we intend to pursue. “Very often – underlines Giovanni Caturano, founder of SpinVector and professor of Virtual Reality and Video Games at the University of Sannio – instead of focusing on how to create an engaging experience for the user, we focus on a certain technology, as if to use it was in itself a goal to be reached, rather than a starting point. For example, often, in the calls for the preparation of museum spaces, the need for virtual workstations or multimedia projections is referred to and the content is omitted. The goal should be the opposite: aim to stimulate a particular interaction that generates interest, curiosity or knowledge, then find the best way to do it “. The relationship between those who “make” technology and those who work on the content should, on the contrary, be very close and aware, “a relationship of intense dialogue in the initial phase, then leaving a certain autonomy to those who have competence in the technological and contents “.
Whether through 360 ° photos or through a geometric interactive model designed for virtualization, it is important that the “virtual tours” do not just simulate the live visit, but offer additional leverage, interpreting the principles of engineering emotional to build experiences so that technology inspires the visitor through engaging content, exciting language and natural and intuitive interaction. In the prototype created by SpinVector – which develops technologies, digital content and multimodal prototypes in the context of Extended Reality and which is now a brand of Mare Group – for the Naples Urban Archaeological Park project, it is possible to compose a scale model of a Roman ship built from the laser scan of the original exhibit. By assembling the parts in the right order you find yourself in the open sea, on the deck of the ship, sailing towards the coast. For the Advanced Multimedia Intelligent Museums Network, on the other hand, the developers worked on a set of artist jewels, building a non-invasive virtualization process, declined in three modes of interaction: web, mobile and VR.
The virtual thus allows you to enlarge the detail of an object, to insert it in its original context: it is not an alternative but an extension of reality. The method of proposition is “guided” and not excessively interlocutory: in most cases the visitor wishes to be led and accompanied to the discovery of this renewed environment with amplified perceptions.