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Museums exhibit tech nous for home users

China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-02-24 07:45

XI'AN-Li Bin, an avid visitor of museums from the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an, has never had a better view of the upholstery of a chair in Beijing's Palace Museum.

Sitting comfortably at home and putting on a device featuring virtual reality technology, Li toured the museum through its online exhibition program, getting an up-close and personal view of the precious exhibits presented in crystal-clear 3D.

"During a field trip to the Palace Museum, it can be tough to visit some of its hidden places and view all of the palace decorations in detail," says Li. "VR technology has made these experiences possible."

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many museums and galleries in China have been closed to visitors to prevent the spread of the epidemic. However, they have launched or repackaged various online exhibitions to provide a satisfactory touring experience for the country's vast number of stay-at-home visitors.

In Chongqing in Southwest China, the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum and the Chongqing Natural History Museum are among those offering exhibitions online.

Visitors can find audio guides to more than 30 exhibitions and videos on 10 others through CCTGM's official account on WeChat during their virtual tours of online exhibition halls.

Shanxi Museum, which houses over 400,000 artifacts, is offering online tours through various platforms, including its website, WeChat account, and microblogging service Sina Weibo.

"We have repackaged our online resources and provided them to viewers," says Ren Xiaojing, an IT official with the museum. "While viewing exhibitions online, visitors can learn a lot of background knowledge. It's not a bad way to visit the museum from home."

Advanced digital technologies, such as VR and augmented reality, have played a significant role in bringing exhibitions to online visitors in a more vivid and interactive manner than ever before.

The Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi'an has provided online viewers with a 50-billion-pixel panoramic picture of a pit of Terracotta warriors by collaging 2,000 high-definition images.

Using facial recognition technology, the museum is also offering an online interactive game that can tell which Terracotta warrior bears the most resemblance to the viewer.

After visiting the museum online, visitor Zhang Yao says, "when the epidemic is over, I will go to Xi'an to visit the museum in person to make my tour more complete."

 

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