Exhibiting 3D artifacts

During the summer of 2012, visitors at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo were invited to actively immerse themselves in history by handling a digitalised version of a Viking horse saddle. The display was developed by NR in close collaboration with the Museum of Cultural History.

A man is seen raising his hand towards a blue screen featuring an image of a horse saddle. The image is from an interactive archaeological installation at the Viking Ship museum during the summer of 2012.
Visitors were encouraged to move the horse saddle around and zoom to look at different details. Image: NR.

Using technology to engage audiences

Museums are valuable spaces for lifelong learning and often play key roles in the preservation and advancement of knowledge among the public. Museums must engage and attract both existing and new audiences to fulfill their educational and cultural purpose. The implementation of modern technology is an important component to their success, especially among younger audiences who are increasingly used to dynamic ways of learning.

History at our fingertips

With the Hands-on 3D project, our aim was to provide audiences with immersive learning experiences by allowing them to interact directly with digital versions of archaeological objects. Our prototype engaged audiences with a digital three-dimensional representation of a Viking horse saddle from the Oseberg burial. Visitors used hand movements to move and zoom in on the artifact in our interactive installation. We used Kinect for gesture interaction along with the computer programmes Blender and Ogre3D.  

Exhibiting at the Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is one the city’s most frequented museums. During the exhibition, the museum recorded attendance of more than 200,000 visitors. Our installation was prominently displayed in a prime location close to the Tune ship, and we received feedback from museum staff who reported on its popularity and impact.

Project: Hands-on 3D exhibit

Partners: The Museum of Cultural History and Holodesign

Funding: Arts and Culture Norway (previously the Arts Council Norway) and The Savings Bank Foundation DNB

Period: 2011 – 2012