TH Köln develops VR exhibit for the Deutsches Museum Nuremberg

The Deutsches Museum is planning to open a new branch in December 2020 with the Zukunftsmuseum in Nuremberg, where everything will revolve around future technologies. In a joint research project, the Cologne Game Lab and the museum are developing an exhibit for the exhibition: Using Virtual Reality (VR), visitors will experience an everyday scenario from the year 2050.

“With our VR simulation, we want to take a scientifically sound look into the future. Of course, such forecasts are associated with uncertainties, but visitors should experience what technological changes could await us as a society and what effects are possible,” explains research assistant Fee Bonny from the Cologne Game Lab. In 30 years’ time, for example, our smartphones could be replaced by implanted devices that superimpose digital information on our reality as “augmented reality”.

A large area of around 75 square meters is planned in the museum, where participants can move freely with their VR glasses and thus interactively experience the everyday life of the year 2050. “Our scenario will be designed for groups so that they can also interact with each other. We don’t want to paint an overly positive picture of the future in the sense of a utopia, but neither do we want to paint a dystopia. Ideally, we will encourage people to discuss technical progress with its intended, but also undesired effects,” says research assistant Jonas Zimmer from the Cologne Game Lab.

The Future Museum in Nuremberg shows prototypes, installations and experiments from real research projects in five thematic areas such as “Body & Mind” or “System Earth”. “All future scenarios that we present to visitors can be experienced through exhibits. We also shed light on the ethical aspects of the technologies. This will make the Future Museum in Nuremberg unique in the world. In order to create this experience, we are cooperating with the leading institutions in their respective fields,” says Dr. Andreas Gundelwein from the Deutsches Museum.

The VR exhibition area is to be used for various scenarios in the coming years. It will serve not only as an exhibit, but also as a research laboratory, in which the visitor groups will serve as test persons in anonymized form. The scientists of the Cologne Game Labs can then, for example, investigate how people deal with each other in virtual reality or the transition between the real and virtual world.

The “Virtual Lab” project is being carried out at the Cologne Game Lab (CGL) of the TH Köln by a large team of professors, alumni, students, student assistants and freelancers. Project leaders at the CGL are Prof. Björn Bartholdy and Prof. Dr. Gundolf S. Freyermuth and at the Deutsches Museum Dr. Andreas Gundelwein. Funding is provided by the Free State of Bavaria.

Press Release of TH Köln (german only):

PM 37/2020: VR-Exponat für das Deutsche Museum Nürnberg (pdf, 68 KB)

Picture: Ole Tillmann/TH Köln