November 29, 2023
Metropolitan Museum of Art Launches "Replica": New AR Experience

In a bid to revolutionize the museum experience and engage with younger audiences, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has launched its innovative augmented reality app, “Replica.” This cutting-edge app allows users to delve into the art world like never before, as it enables them to interact with art pieces from the Met’s extensive collections in virtual space. The museum has teamed up with Roblox, the popular gaming platform, to create a virtual version of the Met, complete with its iconic Fifth Avenue fa├žade and the majestic Great Hall, offering visitors an immersive and educational cultural journey.

Building of Replica on Past Success

Metropolitan Museum of Art Launches "Replica": New AR Experience

The Replica app is a testament to the Met’s commitment to embrace technological advancements and make art more accessible to all. In 2021, the museum partnered with Verizon for a limited-run augmented-reality experience, granting remote access to select artworks. Building on this success, the Replica app aims to inspire in-person visits by encouraging visitors to scan specific objects during their museum tour. Once scanned, these items can be transferred to the Roblox platform, where users can then explore and interact with them in a virtual setting.

Treasure-Hunt Style Exploration

Designed with children and young adults in mind, the Replica app is a treasure-hunt-style adventure, guiding users through the museum’s diverse collection of art. From Vincent van Gogh’s iconic Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887) to Henry II’s impressive suit of armor and the captivating Perseus with the Head of Medusa, users can embark on a captivating quest to uncover these artistic treasures. The app’s interactive map adds an element of excitement and discovery to the experience.

Art in the Digital Realm: A Curatorial Playground

Once transferred to Roblox, the museum’s masterpieces take on a new digital life as accessories and items that users can incorporate into their avatar’s world. Exploring different universes within Roblox, users can virtually step into the Met itself, acting as curators of their own digital exhibitions. With the ability to select and showcase their favorite digital objects in display cases, users can garner upvotes from other Roblox enthusiasts, fostering a sense of creativity and community.

Replica will Reaching Younger Demographics

The Met’s decision to collaborate with Roblox aligns with its strategic efforts to connect with younger audiences through digital platforms. Having joined TikTok in 2019, the museum recognizes the significance of engaging with younger demographics where they already spend much of their time. According to Roblox, a staggering 62% of its daily active users in 2022 were 16 years old and below, with the fastest-growing age group being 17 to 24-year-olds. The Replica app aims to tap into this young and digitally-savvy audience, sparking their interest in art and culture.

Pioneering Educational Approaches

The Met is not alone in its exploration of digital platforms for educational purposes. Other museums have also ventured into using Roblox to develop novel learning experiences. In 2022, the National Gallery in London launched a game empowering users to curate their own art collections, fostering a sense of ownership and creativity. Meanwhile, the Museum of Science in Boston unveiled a space exploration game based on NASA’s Mars data, sparking curiosity and promoting scientific understanding.

Replica is a Milestone for the Met

The launch of the Replica app signifies a significant milestone for the Met as it ventures into uncharted territory to engage with new audiences and reinvent the museum experience. By leveraging augmented reality and virtual platforms, the Met aims to bridge the gap between traditional art appreciation and the digital age. The app’s interactive and immersive approach provides a fresh perspective on the Met’s renowned collection, making it more accessible and enticing to art enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

Embracing the Digital Landscape

The emergence of the Replica app also highlights the growing importance of digital platforms in the museum world. Institutions worldwide are recognizing the potential of digital technologies in expanding their reach, sharing their stories, and creating meaningful connections with visitors. As museums continue to explore the possibilities of augmented reality, virtual reality, and other digital mediums, the Replica app stands as a shining example of how technology can transform the way we engage with art and culture in the 21st century.

In conclusion, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Replica app represents a groundbreaking step towards reimagining the museum experience. With its interactive and educational approach, the app not only enriches visitors’ encounters with art but also appeals to a younger and digitally-oriented audience. As museums adapt to the ever-evolving technological landscape, the Replica app serves as a trailblazing example of how innovation can unlock new dimensions of artistic exploration and appreciation.