Mixed Reality Laboratory

VRtefacts (2019)

VRtefacts is a museum-focused virtual reality (VR) experience designed to heighten a visitor’s sense of connection and engagement with items from the collection, ending with visitors donating a personal story around that object.  

VRtefacts uses 3D scans of some of the museum’s objects along with 3D prints of those scans. The visitor can actually feel, manipulate, and view the objects up close – in VR and the real world. All 3D prints are made to a scale that enables most users to hold them easily and intuitively.

After the visitor has taken their time exploring and reflecting on the object, they are invited to respond to it with a ‘story’ (a memory, association, or other reaction), which is recorded in both the actual and virtual space. The end result is a composite video that shows the visitor telling their own story about an object that appears in great detail in the VR environment.

Unless the visitor changes their mind, that video is donated to the museum to use as they wish (which is made clear to the participant before accepting the donation!) – for promotional or educational purposes, for their own understanding of their visitor base, as the basis of a new exhibition of its own, or…?

VRtefacts combines the physical shape of an object that is otherwise ‘off-limits’ with the full visual detail of the scanned image.

VRtefacts was developed within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727040, GIFT: Meaningful Personalization of Hybrid Virtual Museum Experiences Through Gifting and Appropriation.

VRtefacts website

Developed within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme by Dr Jocelyn Spence, co-designed with Dimitrios and refined with the help of Harriet Cameron.


Photo credit: GIFT project

This page was last updated on 01 May 2020 at 08:36 (GMT)

Mixed Reality Laboratory

University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

email: mrl@cs.nott.ac.uk