NMY Mixed-Reality Communication


NMY develops VR Timemachine App for Samsung and Staedel

28. September 2016
Hello 1878!

Time Travel at Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. Made Possible by Virtual Reality

Back to 1878 with NMY. Thanks to NMY, the Städel museum in Frankfurt, Germany, can now be explored virtually. Mixed-reality expert NMY, also from Frankfurt, was commissioned to bring the 1878 museum to life in 2016 by using the most up-to-date virtual reality technology. Museum visitors were meant to experience a completely new immersive art reception – the perfect task for NMY!

Why Virtual Reality? 

Which technology allows for immersive time travelling better than virtual reality (VR)? This technology has been continuously developed over the last couple of years, allowing the complete immersion into virtual worlds. To carry out the comprehensive research project Time Machine it was only natural to use VR, because only VR enables an authentic simulation of the historical collection of 1878. Therefore, the Samsung Gear VR glasses turned out to be the ideal solution to use for the Städel museum. 

Project Initiation 

This project posed several challenges. First of all, the application demanded a user interface that processes a lot of data for didactic and interactive usage. Around 600 works of art had to be included into the application, without any loss in outstanding performance of the app. Also, complicated 3D data had to be adapted to the display of mobile devices. At the same time, virtual reality (VR), being a relatively new technology, requires a lot of testing and thought-out interaction concepts. Interaction played a vital part in the application, because the museum was to be explored virtually, no matter the age of the user. The application had to be simple to use and intuitive. This was a huge challenge for the concept and coding team who had to come up with a solution to translate a huge world into the limited screen of a smartphone.
The 1878 Städel museum was to be explored intuitively, with accurate representations of the museum building and a panorama view of historical Frankfurt, but with 2016 VR technology 

Numbers & Facts 

  • 600 works of art 
  • 15 exhibition rooms 
  • 2 guided audio tours in German and English with a total length of 45 minutes each 
  • 170 MB size of app to enable a quick and error-free download 
  • Reconstruction of the outside of the museum to enable a comparison between 1878 and today 

The Project Commences 

The NMY team, consisting of project managers, designers, 3D artists and coders, developed a concept for an interactive 3D app. This app runs on Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 smartphones that can be inserted into Samsung’s mobile VR glasses, called Gear VR. During the six-month process of the project, the digitalized contents of the Städel museum were especially optimized for the Gear VR. The outside area of the museum, on the other hand, was completely digitalized by NMY and implemented into the app. 

Digitally Exploring the Museum 

The app successfully stages both: the architecture of the Städel museum as well as all works of art exhibited back in 1878. Visitors look forward to an authentic museum experience that is enhanced through all the benefits coming from virtual reality. This is personalized adventure at the museum and a world to be experienced anew! Around 600 works of art can be discovered firsthand and, if desired, accompanied by an extensive audio guide to lead the app user through the exhibit. Alternatively, users can choose to explore the 1878 museum on their own. All app content was designed and optimized especially to fulfill the highest usability standards. Even scientists and historians benefit from the new VR app which visualizes the result of years of extensive research. From now on, the app can be used to support further research. 

How Do I Get the App? 

Museum visitors and future users can download the app in the Oculus Store. By using the key word “Städel Time Machine” users can get the app and use their Samsung Gear VR glasses and the matching Samsung smartphone to travel back in time – free of charge, of course! 

Art in the digital age – powered by NMY. Hello Future! 

For further information about the VR App of the Städel museum, check their website: http://zeitreise.staedelmuseum.de/vr-app/ 
Or read about it as NMY project: http://www.nmy.de/de/1/projekte/15/234/staedel-museum/

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