DinosaurVR: Using Virtual Reality to Enhance a Museum Exhibition

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5753/jis.2023.3464

Keywords:

Virtual Reality, Paleontology, Museum Visit Enhancement

Abstract

Museums featuring dinosaur fossils have always attracted the attention of the crowd. However, sustaining public interest in science becomes more challenging year after year, even for popular attractions, calling for changes in how exhibits appear in the face of new technologies. To enrich the user’s experience and enhance the exhibition’s attractiveness, we developed and evaluated an immersive and interactive Virtual Reality (VR) experience to integrate the Paleontology exhibition at the Câmara Cascudo Museum in Natal, Brazil. Experienced VR users were interviewed and reported, through software tests, that the system was stable and performed as intended without any noticeable issues that could affect the user experience. They also found the content adequate, except for the suggestion to include more information about Paleoichnology and the finding of fossil tracksites. The graphical quality received mixed reviews, with some participants suggesting improvements to the terrain, such as adding vegetation and enhancing lighting. They also noted that the experience would appeal to younger audiences, thanks to the novelty of VR technology and the accessibility offered by the museum. Improvements were made to the environment based on their feedback, including changes to the terrain and lighting. Additionally, we developed two alternative versions of the experience, one for multi-projection in a room and another without interactive elements. Our results indicate that the VR experience can be successfully integrated with the exhibition and has the potential to enhance museum visits. It can connect the audience with the actual fossils on display by using a dinosaur in the exhibition. It allows one to visualize how their region changed in the past million years. Finally, this experiment helped bridge the population from an unprivileged region with the science that is produced upon the fossils found in their context. Such knowledge broadens the public’s imagination and triggers a whole chain of development for the community around the museum. Our VR exhibition prototype showed great potential to amplify this mission.

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Published

2023-08-21

How to Cite

SOUZA, A. M. de C.; AURELIANO, T.; GHILARDI, A. M.; RAMOS, E. A.; BESSA, O. F. M.; RENNÓ-COSTA, C. DinosaurVR: Using Virtual Reality to Enhance a Museum Exhibition. Journal on Interactive Systems, Porto Alegre, RS, v. 14, n. 1, p. 363–370, 2023. DOI: 10.5753/jis.2023.3464. Disponível em: https://journals-sol.sbc.org.br/index.php/jis/article/view/3464. Acesso em: 18 jul. 2024.

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Section

Regular Paper