Explore historic Kelham Island Museum...in virtual reality

History lovers who received a virtual reality headset for Christmas are in for a treat thanks to a newly launched virtual reality experience from Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.

Wednesday, 8th February 2017, 08:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:05 am

The open stores and Engineer’s workshop area of the museum have been meticulously scanned and recreated in a digital immersive space.

Allowing you to virtually walk around areas of the museum that are ordinarily inaccessible to visitors, it is intended to show more objects from the museum’s vast collection.

Requiring nothing more than a simple cardboard headset and modern smartphone, the downloadable experience is compatible with most Android and Apple phones and Samsung Gear VR headsets.

Whilst VR mode is a first for the museum, it’s not the only medium with which to explore the immersive experience. It can also be accessed in 2D mode on computer, laptop and smartphones.

Maria Flude, Sheffield Industrial Museum’s Trust said: “I believe this is a first for museums in the region and it’s a leap into the digital unknown for us. We are delighted to have this resource and it’s prompted some interesting conversations around access. This is an extension of our work around inclusive access and it will push our development in this area as we look into making it accessible for visually impaired visitors too. The scan allows everyone to feel as if they’re walking round our engineering workshops and to explore more of the collection at their own leisure.

“Viewers are prompted to learn facts about the objects thanks to interactive tags which give further information. This area of the museum is usually out of bounds and it’s an area of much interest for visitors, so we think people will be really excited by this glimpse behind the scenes.”

The scan was carried out by Sheffield VR tour company CONVRTS, who have scanned a number of Yorkshire museums and institutions.

The VR and 2D experience can be accessed via the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust website: www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum/what-to-see/the-open-store-conservation-workshop