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This article was published on May 27, 2011

    Museum project lets you control a human from your browser

    Museum project lets you control a human from your browser
    Martin Bryant
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    Martin Bryant

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    Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

    Virtual tours have been a staple of museum websites for years, but how about an actual tour in real-time, right from your browser? That’s what the MAS museum in Antwerp, Belgium is currently offering.

    The museum has five guides, one standing on each floor of the museum with a live-streaming video camera. From the website you’re able to direct a guide so you can take a look at what each gallery has to offer. As you click the arrow icons on the screen, the guide hears your commands through headphones and will move to accordingly.

    The project (described, a little awkwardly, as a ‘Phygital tour’) has been designed by digital agency Prophets in order to encourage a global audience to visit the museum for real after getting a taste online.

    It’s a great idea, although we had mixed results when we tried it here at The Next Web. One of us had it working fine, another found the video stream a bit jittery and another just got a big grey box, despite having an up-to-date browser.

    Still, it’s well worth giving a go and we’d love to see more of this kind of thing, even if it is quite labour intensive for the people taking commands from faceless Web users all day. The live tours run until 7 June. You can try the tour yourself here.