Thanks to augmented reality (AR) technology, visitors to Cairo’s famous Egyptian Museum will be able to have King Tutankhamun as their tour guide. This means that visitors will be able to experience and learn about all the museum’s artifacts from the ultimate expert himself.
Egyptian-born Ramy Hammady, a researcher at the University of Huddersfield who is studying for his doctorate, developed the system named MuseumEye which allows viewers to experience an enriched museum tour. By incorporating the MuseumEye system into Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, the application is able to bring the history of Egypt to life like never before. The museum was seeking ways to offers visitors a more memorable experience and gave the go-ahead for an eight-day trial of Ramy’s MuseumEye prototype, which was sampled by 171 participants, including several of the museum’s curators.
“Imagine you are a visitor to the Egyptian Museum, arriving at the central exhibit – Tutankhamun,” explains Ramy. “Wearing the headset transforms the room into the Pharaoh’s temple, where he introduces himself and demonstrates his power and riches. The headset has a futuristic floating user interface with options of what to look at as the Pharaoh guides you around his palace.”
Ramy made use of his animation skills and the specialist collaborations he has formed with other University of Huddersfield researchers in order to produce the prototype that was showcased at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, repository for the treasures found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
During the trial of MuseumEye within the Egyptian Museum, it was found that visitors who were wearing the headset spent between five to seven minutes in front of exhibits, instead of the five to fifteen seconds that people without the AR interaction would normal spend at each exhibit. One of the visitors who sampled MuseumEye was the current Earl of Carnarvon, great grandson of aristocrat who was the financial backer of the Egyptologist Howard Carter’s excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
“He was invited by the museum management to try the system and he was very happy with it,” said Ramy, who is now in the final stages of his PhD research. He is keen to develop MuseumEye further and even try it out at the Manchester Museum, which has an Egyptian display including a representation of one of the battles fought by the armies of Tutankhamun.
VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the developments of MuseumEye and where it might be applied next.