Visit a Museum in Virtual Reality with Neil Gaiman Tucked In Your Ear
Wander the The Courtauld Gallery without ever leaving home
Stuck at home (or the classroom), and craving art? WoofbertVR is a newly released virtual reality app for Samsung Gear VR that will take you to The Courtauld Gallery in London. You can explore the gallery and admire works by Gauguin and Monet without leaving home. Author and illustrator Neil Gaiman narrates as you wander, reading aloud object labels and stories.
Elizabeth L. Reede, President of Woofbert VR, is a former MoMA curator. She cofounded the company with Bob Hamwee.
â€œAt its core, the app enables ‘students’ to be transported to and learn about these great cultural treasures from their living room or office, with family and friends,” Elizabeth explains. Students include the more traditional definitions: K-12, college and grad students, but also anyone interested in downloading the app for personal or home use.
For instance, esteemed actor and producer Kevin Spacey has invested in the company. Spacey is optimistic about the potential for virtual reality in classrooms of the future. He told the Financial Review:
“The schoolroom hasn’t changed a whole lot in decades. So imagine being able to slip on the goggles and be at the bottom of the ocean learning about the Pacific, Gettysburg hearing about the Civil War, or on the stage of The Globe in the 1600s, running lines with the actors?”
The museum app is now available on Samsung Gear VR, powered by OculusApp. Currently, users have access to the Wolfson Room at The Courtauld. The app plans on expanding to more rooms, exhibits and galleries in the future. Elizabeth tells PSFK:
“WbVR has a number of verticals which it will be developing in the coming months. As our focus is providing access to the arts and offering innovative and engaging educational content to users around the world, future extensions will be rooted to that mission. In 2016, we are planning to release new experiences every 4-6 weeks, that continue to allow our users to immerse themselves in museums, architecture, and cultural heritage sites from anywhere, at any time.”
Yes please: instant virtual access to some of the world’s finest painters is a step-up from the wobbly slide-projector paintings of art history.