VR and immersive technology are becoming increasingly important to arts institutions worldwide. From large international museums to independent local galleries, staff and management are looking at ways that they can enhance their collections and offer new visitor experiences via the use of immersive technology.
Working together, eLearning Studios, Facesoft and Emteq are creating a platform designed to allow the museum and arts sector to rapidly and easily create immersive content. It focuses on providing the latest immersive tech at a low cost, and on providing new forms of interactive experiences for visitors.
To deliver a platform which fulfils the needs of these institutions, we are carrying out a programme of user needs and UX research. We have carried out pilot research with a number of museums in the UK and seen that the barriers to working with immersive technology are, for some institutions and members of staff, highly problematic. Despite having ambitions and intentions to do more work with VR, the challenges and costs of acquiring, setting up and working with immersive technology still feels overwhelming, as does the challenge of creating good content.
Our initial work also showed that the interplay between arts institutions, creative agencies and tech deployment/implementation companies is also important. To further dig into these issues, we have developed a survey for museums and other arts institutions, with some benefits for taking part: we're giving out a VR headset (an Oculus Quest) to the institute of one respondent picked at random, and we're also producing some public research findings which we'll be able to share afterwards.
It's also open to people from digital and creative agencies: they can access a separate survey aimed at their needs here.