Museums in AR/VR: Google Arts & Culture

Explore art galleries through your phone without leaving your seat or paying a dime. Using Google Street View, you can take virtual reality tours with your phone and Google Cardboard or Pocket 360 (also known as smartphone VR headsets). Tours appear in a 360 degree photo format with points of interest for viewers to read additional information or flat images.

This is a great tool for humanities exploring global and cultural spaces without leaving the classroom. Numerous resources to art pieces and museums also makes this a great teaching tool in Studio Art and Art History courses. As a free download to their smartphone, majority of students already the resource to access these immersive features. Educational Technology has a set of 15 pocket viewers to loan to faculty to use these in class.

Viewing with Pocket 360 VR Headset
VR View in Google Arts and Culture requires mobile VR headset

Searching “VR” in the app from the iOS Store or Google Play Store, gives you 19 Virtual Tours from around the world. The video clip above is the Konzerthaus Berlin.

A fun feature Google has been exploring is AR and archival art. Google digitally archived Vermeer’s paintings with high level of detail so viewers can go up close and see the cracks or damage. This project is housed in a small gallery space for viewers to enter and move around the space by tapping. Each gallery is thematic to Vermeer’s works with in-depth textual explanation of each piece of art.

Starting view of Vermeer’s AR Experience

Download the Google Arts and Culture to explore the VR or AR spaces and show off your new found knowledge to others!