A £5.6 million project to develop a virtual reality museum platform has been unveiled today.
The Museums in the Metaverse project is hoped to allow both professionals and amateurs to become “virtual curators”, building virtual and mixed-reality environments which can include 3D-scanned objects from collections.
Online visitors will then be able to visit these spaces via a VR headset from anywhere in the world.
The project is based in the University of Glasgow’s College of Arts & Humanities, and is funded by the UK Government’s Innovation Accelerator programme, led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation.
Project partners include immersive learning platform Edify, Historic Environment Scotland, National Museums Scotland, University of Glasgow College of Arts & Humanities and The Hunterian to create the platform.
Professor Neil McDonnell, based at the University’s Advanced Research Centre (ARC), is leading the project.
McDonnell said: “It is estimated that over 90% of objects in collections can’t be seen as they are in storage. Museums in the Metaverse can help liberate these collections and will allow museums the freedom to connect with their audiences in new and exciting ways.
“Just imagine being able to step into history and get up close to the virtual duplicates of ancient relics that in the real world can only be displayed or viewed behind glass.