This Week in History: the Royal BC Museum offer visitors Virtual Reality!

WatchThis Week in History: the Royal BC Museum offers visitors Virtual Reality

Jenny Arnold is a Royal BC Museum Learning Program Producer.

“I am here” she explains, “to do the digital side of learning, making things accessible for guests who cannot necessarily get here.”

Jenny takes me into the Museum’s handling collection room, which is filled with artifacts.

“So these are things that have been catalogued already, and that our guests can actually touch. The wonderment, and the excitement that guests get when they get to actually physically touch something, at a museum, is fascinating!”

Also fascinating is the Museum’s virtual reality technology, which begins with a stereo-scope.

“When you look through it” says Arnold, “it makes a 3-D image. And then it evolved to the viewfinder, which a lot of people still remember…still have in their homes.”

Google Cardboard made VR more accessible, and now, technology has evolved to VR Goggles.

“So if you look in there” says Arnold, as I place the Goggles over my eyes, “you may feel like you can see ‘the mammoth’.  So it’s like you’re in the galleries, but we’re actually downstairs right now” she points out, with a smile.

The Museum is proud to offer VR technology to visitors.  “We want to make sure that we use technology thoughtfully, to make sure that we can bring immersive galleries here to other guests, and bring that magic of museums to them.”

The Museum has plans for outreach kits with VR.

“Because we are British Columbia’s museum, and being on Vancouver Island it’s hard to get to, we also have outreach kits that people can loan from us. That way, they can experience the Museum with their classroom, or in seniors homes, or, just anyone who can’t necessarily get here” says Arnold.

“A lot of virtual reality is built into video games, so it’s really exciting to show VR in an educational and engaging way here at the Museum.”

A new, exciting way to ensure everyone can experience the Royal BC Museum.

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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