Belgian Museum Offers Live Online Tours
MAS Museum docent with virtual tour rig.
CREDIT: MAS Museum
Every museum website offers virtual tours of their collections, but almost none live up to "tour" concept. Clicking through some uploaded imagery simply doesn't replicate the experience of browsing through a gallery. The MAS Museum in Antwerp, Belgium has fixed that problem by equipping docents with specially designed smartphone rigs that let users direct their human surrogate around the museum through their browser.
As seen in the above video, the viewer at home sees the art live streaming through their Internet browser, and tells the docent where to go. According to The Next Web, the museum only has five such docents, so it might take a second to get a personalized tour. The digital agency "Prophets" designed the system in the hope that viewers will love their virtual visit enough to actually go to the physical museum .
The rigs consist of a digital video camera, a smartphone for connectivity, and a handset that lets the docent stabilize the view. In the browser, the video displays interactive arrows that lets the viewer indicate to the docent where to go next. The docent then hears those commands via a headset, and reacts accordingly.
The live tours only run through June 7, so if you're interested in seeing some art from home, this is the week to do so.