Smart Museums
  ·  2023-08-11  ·   Source: NO.32 AUGUST 10, 2023

With the adoption of virtual reality, augmented reality, and many other advanced technologies, museums are no longer just sedate, old-fashioned art spaces filled with lifeless artifacts, but ultra-modern scenes that transcend the boundaries of time and space.

Now, people can simply log onto the Dunhuang E-Tour, a mini program on the Weixin super app, for a game-like virtual tour through the Mogao Grottoes, a constellation of 492 ancient Buddhist sanctuaries in Gansu Province in the northwest. A recent exhibition in Shenzhen used naked-eye 3D technology to display a virtual collection of treasuries held at the Palace Museum in Beijing. At the Bell and Drum Towers, a pair of ancient structures in Beijing, a light show projected onto the ceiling details the history of the towers and their connection to the capital's Central Axis.

Technology also plays a massive role in the real-time management of museum collections. Modern scientific tools, such as DNA testing and radiocarbon dating, have allowed museum researchers to identify the age and composition of ancient artifacts. Sensors monitor warehouses for temperature, pressure and humidity, thereby enabling museums to optimize the conditions for the storage of collections. What's more, with the ability to automate certain tasks and generate creative solutions, artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the way museums approach heritage conservation by streamlining the restoration process.

Given the colossal number of ancient artifacts China possesses, the digitalization of domestic museums will need a continuous supply of highly qualified staff. Therefore, more energy should go into the nurturing of young, multidisciplinary professionals.

(Oriental Outlook, July 27)

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