With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continuing to have a massive effect on museums across the globe, Spaceteam developer Cooperative Innovations is turning to VR for help.
The UK-based studio today announced Curatours, its live social platform designed to digitize museum galleries and share them online. Curatours will work as interactive media for smartphones and tablets but is also designed for VR headsets where users can immerse themselves in virtual versions of exhibitions, meet up with others to share the experience and even ask experts questions live. Check out a demo video below.
Curatours consists of two parts. Firstly, there’s the user experience, which allows VR visitors to navigate around 3D spaces and even use hand controllers to pick up and interact with exhibits. They can also take part in live tours and bring up text and visual information about specific pieces. The app will also support pre-recorded 3D performances and audio recordings.
Then there’s the Curatour Maker side, which allows partners to easily set up their own virtual exhibits. We’ve seen lots of virtual museums and 360 video tours in the past, but Curatours’ promise of a central hub for multiple destinations, paired with social, live and interactive features could set it apart from the pack.
“To date, virtual tours can feel like a solitary one-way experience,” Emma Cooper, Project Lead at Cooperative Innovations, said in a prepared statement. “Curatours is our solution to this, making the experience a social one that can be shared with anyone, anywhere in the world. At Cooperative Innovations bringing people together virtually is our aim and after four years of R&D coupled with the Innovate UK grant we are developing the technology to achieve this.”
Curatours is launching in early 2021 with initial partners including Anne Frank House and National Trust Scotland. Specific information on which headsets the platform will support and how visitors will be able to access and download the app for VR hasn’t yet been revealed. You can find out more information about the platform at its website.