The Benefits of Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR & VR) in Museums


Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) is not only for gaming now. It has already found a use in health care, shopping, real estate, education, and is gaining popularity among museums and galleries.

What are AR and VR?

First of all, let’s define what AR and VR are.

AR just adds some digital elements to real objects or a real view, by using a smartphone, laptop, tablet, headset.


AR technology is applied in numerous museums, galleries, and exhibitions. Another example, people can see extended versions of pictures or more information about pieces of art as in the videos, given below:

The last video is from the Dommuseum in Salzburg. The museum has a great history and artworks that span 1300 years of sculpture, painting, as well as goldsmith, works by many local and internationally known craftsmen and artists.

VR just shuts out the physical world and immerses a person’s vision and hearing into a virtually created one.


In addition, VR does not always require a physical presence in a museum or gallery, so any person, even with limited mobility, can make virtual tours wherever they are.

There is a video given below as an example:

The VR Museum of Fine Art is a simulator and doesn’t exist in real life. It is available in Steam and works with one of the VR headsets, either HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

According to the latest update, the second floor is now available in the application and all the exhibits are presented in 1:1 scale. As well, all the paintings are without any glass protection, unlike in real museums and galleries.

What are the Benefits of AR and VR in Museums?

Museums and galleries enrich our knowledge, give us an understanding of historical value, and can simply give answers to various questions. Nowadays, museums look for ways to improve their visitors’ experience and AR or VR is one of the best ways in which that can be done.

Here are the benefits of using AR and VR in museums:

Enhancing the Visitor Experience

AR and VR technologies have been gaining popularity all over the world and are used in gaming, medicine, education, real estate, and many other fields successfully. So, these technologies have a good potential to attract people and bring something new to the usual “walking around and looking” rule of thumb.

Engage More Visitors

A lot of people are hungry for something new, so they get an opportunity to look at a piece of art from a completely different angle with either AR or VR. Mostly VR and less so AR expand the possibility of visiting museums for people with reduced mobility.

New Revenue Streams

According to statistics, many museums cover less than 27% of their annual budget by selling tickets. AR or VR technology is an innovative way to keep people coming back, and also to get more visitors. VR and AR create a more dynamic and interactive exhibit and produce an entirely different experience; one that immerses the user and can lead to a much deeper understanding of an event or place than just reading or looking at images.

The development costs of a project for a museum can be high in the initial stage, but it pays off when exhibition attendance increases.

VironIT’s Experience

VironIT Software Development Company developed the project “Anatomy Next” for a medical museum. This is a simulator to learn human anatomy in detail. Every single muscle or bone is shown in the application. More detailed information is given in the video below:

If you have an idea to create a similar project, the VironIT team will consult you on creating it, based on experience.

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