The New Media Museum is experimenting with creating a virtual museum — the goal of the this is threefold.
First, it is an exercise in envisioning what a “real” museum will look like.
Second, it will stand on its own as a valuable educational experience.
Finally, third, the experiments will determine the best platform for the future.
Here are the three experiments done so far!
Toy Worlds are fun “3D interfaces” for navigating the Web.
They are literally “toy worlds” because they are dioramas created with dollhouse furniture and other miniature toys that are photographed with a RICOH THETA S 360° Camera. The resulting 360° photos are posted on the Kuula 360° photo sharing service in order to overlay links to YouTube videos and web pages.
They are also figuratively “toy worlds” in that they are only intended to be prototypes that serve as placeholders for more sophisticated “worlds” made with advanced software such as Unity 3D. The reason those worlds have not been created and posted so far is because there is no way to embed sophisticated 3D worlds directly on web pages yet.
Here is the New Media Museum Toy World!
Touch the interactive 360° image to explore it. Click on objects to find out about them, and use the menu in the lower left or door knobs to visit other related Toy Worlds that were also created by M. E. Hopper (Worlds, Studio and Cosma).
You can find out about Toy Worlds and their backstory on this post.
There is a more extensive experimental version of the New Media Museum in the virtual world SecondLife. Click the images below to explore it.
The New Media Museum’s last predecessor, the NEW Computer Museum, had an virtual museum created with Unity 3D. The obvious problem was that there was no way to publish a version of that on a web page. It required a download and installation that was, and still is, deemed unacceptable for typical users.
The video below shows a walk-through of that application to give you a sense of what a “Virtual New Media Museum” might look like.
Notice that the posters and almost all of the objects link to content and interactive activities. The “title poster” in each exhibit links to the relevant page on this site, while other posters and objects link elsewhere. There was a high overlap between content in the application and and the content in the “Guide” that was posted on the NEW Computer Museum website.