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Creative

Nexus Creates BBC’s First Augmented Reality App - Civilisations AR

The app allows you to explore ‘The Kiss’ by Rodin or a Corinthian helmet in the comfort of your own home, garden, or wherever you happen to be

Nexus Creates BBC’s First Augmented Reality App - Civilisations AR

The BBC has launched its first augmented reality app, Civilisations AR. Developed by BBC Research & Development, BBC Arts and Nexus Studios, the app features over 30 fascinating artefacts from museums across the UK that have been digitally scanned and are now available to view in 3D as part of a new virtual exhibition.

Civilisations AR is available to download for free for iOS and Android now. It was developed as part of a major collaboration between the BBC and more than 30 museums and galleries as part of the Civilisations Festival.


The app’s launch marks the beginning of new landmark arts and culture series, Civilisations. which begins on BBC Two tonight, following which the full series will be available to view on BBC iPlayer. The series follows presenters Simon Schama, Mary Beard and David Olusoga as they travel far and wide across six continents to find answers to fundamental questions about human creativity. 

The app features a range of exhibits, including a fourteenth century Italian sculpture of Madonna and Child from the National Museum of Scotland, Turner’s painting Bridge over the Moselle from the Oldham Museum and Art Gallery, an ancient Egyptian mummy from the Torquay Museum and the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum. It highlights the treasures of a diverse range of UK museums and galleries and allows people across the globe to discover these remarkable objects and explore them “out of the display case”, no matter where they may live. 


At the heart of the Civilisations AR experience is a core ‘magic spotlight’ feature, which allows users to uncover annotations, audio and imagery that enrich to the story of each exhibit. An X-ray function lets users see through or inside an object, while a restoration feature can be used to rub through the layers of history. Users can browse the exhibition geographically, using an AR globe, or via the themes of the series, as new exhibits will be added as the series progresses.


Eleni Sharp, executive product manager for BBC R&D, says: "We're thrilled to have started our augmented reality journey with Civilisations AR. The app enables users to explore an amazing range of exhibits, while enabling the BBC R&D team to experiment with a new technology and test how a new format can complement a linear show. However, this is just the first outing for the app. We've designed and built it to be a totally reusable product, and we will be looking to use develop more AR projects in the future once we have had the chance to analyse the data from this one."

Exhibits included in Civilisations AR

Artefact

Museum

Location Origin

Year

The Clonmore Shrine



Ulster Museum, Belfast

United Kingdom

650

Tea Pot



Ulster Museum, Belfast

United Kingdom

1808

Carved Ivory Salt Cellar



National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Nigeria

1550

Madonna and Child



National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Italy

1350

The Kiss by Rodin



National Museum Wales, Cardiff

France

1898

Crested Firedog



National Museum Wales, Cardiff

United Kingdom

50

Hippo Bowl



Manchester Museum, Manchester

Egypt

3500 BCE

Sundial from first railway station


Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

United Kingdom

1830

Bridge over the Ticino by Turner


Gallery Oldham, Oldham

Switzerland

1842

Tang Dynasty Horse



Gallery Oldham, Oldham

China


Ebenezer Elliot bust



Barnsley Museum, Barnsley

United Kingdom

1800

Zeus Ammon



World Museum, Liverpool

Egypt

100

Statuette of Horus the Child


World Museum, Liverpool

Egypt

300 BCE

Lady Emma Hamilton as a Bacchante by Vigée-Le Brun



Lady Lever Art Gallery, Wirral

United Kingdom

1782

Gandahar Sculpture



Oriental Museum, Durham

Pakistan

200

Roman Statue of Mars



The Yorkshire Museum, York

United Kingdom


Open Work Head by Moore



The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

United Kingdom

1936

Reclining Figure by Moore


The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

United Kingdom

1934

Mother & Child by Hepworth


The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

United Kingdom

1963

Christ Washing Disciple’s Feet by Tintoretto


Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead

Italy

1547

Ogoni Mask



Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby

Nigeria

1900

Oak Samson Statue



Norfolk Museum, Norwich

United Kingdom

c.1600

Corinthian Helmet



Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Greece

1000 BCE

Gelede Mask



Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Nigeria

1850

Peruvian Stirrup Stout Pot


Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Peru

1450

Roundway Beaker



Wiltshire Museum, Wiltshire

United Kingdom

2000 BCE

Divination Bowl



Bristol Museum, Bristol

Nigeria

c.1860

Corinium Cockeral



Corinium Museum, Cirencester

United Kingdom

150

Mummy in Egyptian Coffin


Torquay Museum, Torquay

Egypt


The Rosetta Stone



The British Museum, London

Egypt

196 BCE

Roman Hunter God



Cumming Museum, London

United Kingdom

150

Gold Trophy Head




The Wallace Collection, London

Ghana

1850

The Blood of the Redeemer by Bellini



National Gallery, London

Italy

c.1460

Japanese Gun Powder Flask


Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Japan

1640

Octopus Storage Jar



Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Greece

1400 BCE

Reliquary Casket of St Thomas Beckett


Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

France

1200

Red Figure Neck Amphora


The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Greece

470 BCE

Iznik Jug



The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Turkey

1592

Māori ‘God Stick’ Tiki Wanaga


Colchester and Ipswich Museums, Colchester

New Zealand


Titus Flavius Demetrius



Colchester and Ipswich Museums, Colchester

Egypt


Native American Mask



Colchester and Ipswich Museums, Colchester

USA


Category: Corporate and social , Government

Genre: Apps , Experiential