Pause a moment to consider the following questions.
- Are you someone with an insatiable desire to learn, explore and experience the wonders of the world?
- Does culture, art and archaeology interest you?
- Are there physical or financial challenges coming in the way of fulfilling these desires?
If the answer is yes to the above questions, then the solution to your challenges lies in Virtual museums and VR exhibits. These museums provide everyone with an amazing opportunity to explore the cultural and artistic wonders of this world with just a click or swipe from the comfort of your living room or office cubicle.
With just a few simple steps, you can dive into the world of history, science, music, art, and artefacts of various societies, civilisations and cultures. I have decades of experience in developing museum experiences and will now take you on a trip to learn how to explore the world through virtual interactive museums. Join me, and let’s step into the world of virtual museums.
Virtual museums present many advantages over traditional museums. The current range of technologies in museums has made them more accessible, convenient, cost-effective, interactive and customisable. Anyone with good connectivity, regardless of their geographical presence, can explore a virtual museum. This becomes very important for people with physical disabilities and actually empowers them with the opportunity to explore like everyone else.
Virtual museums allow their visitors to explore at their own pace, and they need not worry about closing times. Virtual museums can be explored with a computer, mobile device or a virtual reality headset. A VR museum experience is completely immersive, giving the visitor the thrill of an actual museum visit.
Maximising the Virtual Museum Exploration Experience
One of the first things a virtual museum explorer needs to do is make a list of all the virtual museums around the world. The next step is to make a short list of the museums that align with their interests and tastes. Proceeding in an organised fashion enables the virtual museum explorer to maximise the time they have decided to spend on their visits.
Once they have their shortlist, the next step is to identify the digital collections each museum has and develop a priority list. While this exercise consumes significant time as you will also be fighting the urge to jump in and visit them right away. But remember, your patience in this effort will be rewarded by the high-quality experience you will enjoy during your online visits.
The second and most important aspect is to choose the time you are most comfortable exploring. Virtual visits need you to be in a calm and peaceful state of mind. This helps you to fully appreciate the wonders that you have planned to see. It’s also necessary to check the timings when the virtual museum or some of its collections are not available due to scheduled maintenance of the systems that host it.
The quality of your experience is also a function of the hardware and software you have. Computer systems and mobile devices with high-resolution screens, along with high-quality headphones, may be sufficient for a 2D exploration of a virtual museum. A Virtual reality headset would be required if the exhibit provides a VR experience. This VR headset comes with hand controllers that provide an immersive virtual museum experience.
A Virtual Tour of Ancient Artefacts and Interactive Exhibits
As you begin to explore the priority list of museums, remind yourself to be patient and explore to the fullest. Despite all preparations, our devices may decide not to cooperate. Therefore, it’s important to remain patient until they are resolved to your satisfaction. One of the things that visitors need to be reminded of is that such exhibits are also highly interactive.
They often contain quizzes, puzzles and games that help you learn more about the exhibits in a fun, interactive and memorable way. VR museums also enable you to interact with others in the virtual space. This could become a feature of the metaverse that enables complete virtual interaction with someone from another part of the globe.
It could also lay the foundation for creating lasting friendships with other people. Virtual museums also enable visitors to seamlessly share details of their experience on social media applications with their friends and relatives. The virtual museums can be explored simultaneously with other friends, enabling them to interact with each other and enjoy the experience a bit further.
Here is a list of virtual museums across the globe that are highly recommended:
The first on the list is the British Museum, United Kingdom, which has more than 60 virtual tours and online exhibits. They are organised floor and room-wise, with each room housing different exhibits. Visit Room 4 to tour the Egyptian sculptures, which will immerse you into 3,000 years of Egyptian history and bring you to witness the statues of Ramesses II and Amenhotep III.
The exquisite beauty of these granite statues will not only enthral you but leave you in amazement at the skill of ancient Egyptians more than four millennia ago. With a little practice and discipline, you can easily navigate through the corridors of the museum as you would in real life. You will be amazed to get up close and personal with the exhibits. Zoom to see in clear detail everything, including the textual information provided on the exhibits.
Ancient artefacts from almost every part of the world are on display at the British Museum. In addition to the virtual tours, there are also virtual galleries to enhance the visitors’ experience.
Popular Virtual Museums in India and Abroad
Up next is the museum no one misses when in Paris. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s the Louvre. Though the navigation could be better, the collections there make up for any perceived challenges.
From ancient artefacts to amazing paintings, and sculptures, the Louvre has it. Getting up close and personal with the best art of the best artists is possible here.
The zoom feature allows you to see each painting in such great detail that it makes you realise that such an experience is virtually impossible on a real visit to the same museum.
These virtual tours are eye-openers to the wonders of the world that are at your fingertips completely free of cost. Check out the virtual tours here.
Here are some more of the museums that would captivate you as much as the couple described above. Check out the following:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, United States
- The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, United States
- The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands: The Rijksmuseum
- State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
- The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea
Museums in India are not far behind. I would suggest that you also check out the following closer home. They are:
- National Museum in New Delhi
- The Indian Museum in Kolkata
- The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai
- The Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad
- The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh
- The Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata
These are only a few of the most popular virtual museums in India and abroad. I would leave it to you to explore the remaining out there not just to enjoy but enrich yourselves and those around you. Exploring world museums has never been easier. I hope this journey has been interesting for you.
Fusion VR has been at the forefront of developing virtual interactive museums and interactive digital exhibits for more than a decade. We are also leaders in VR experience centres and corporate experience centres. Your enthusiasm and support will help catalyse the growth and popularity of virtual museums in India.