Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, located in Vilnius, is dedicated to the historical and cultural heritage of Lithuanian Jewry and is the only Jewish museum in Lithuania. The original museum was first established in Vilnius (then Vilna) in 1913 through the efforts of the Society of Lovers of Jewish Antiquity. The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture established the current The Vilna Gaon museum in 1989.
The museum has five sites focused on different aspects of Jewish history and culture. It also acquires, collates and curates materials, issues publications, conducts research, organizes permanent and temporary exhibitions and sponsors educational activities.
One of the museum sites hosts the museum of the artist Samuel Bak. His artwork reflects both his creative development and his personal story, shaped by the Second World War. The majority of Samuel Bak’s works have something fascinating to tell and museum wanted their stories to be accessible to every visitor. The days when a picture accompanied with a text panel was sufficient are gone as the text is easily ignored. It was essential for the story of Bak’s paintings to be presented in a more interactive and engaging way.
The solution was to present all the information about the paintings in an application. Visitors simply download the app into their smartphones, ask museum staff for a password and then use the virtual guide with all its audio and visual content. The password is required to ensure that only museum visitors can access all the information about Bak’s paintings. Other people can only try out a free trial of the app and see just a few of the paintings.
As Samuel Bak is still alive, he was asked to record the audio to accompany the video and provide commentary about his own work. All of this is loaded into the virtual guide application. The painter himself guides the visitors through his exhibition in an interactive and engaging way, so visitors can fully understand what Bak wanted to say through his paintings.
If the user wishes to, they can also read about the paintings – the text reflects what Samuel Bak talks about in the video, so everyone can access the information in their chosen medium.
The application was built using the Agile method, which ensured that the virtual guide was exactly how our client envisioned it.
In the end, the application was a virtual guide, where the painter himself guides the visitors through his exhibition. Not only this is more interactive and engaging, but the visitors can be sure they are shown what the author really wanted to say through his paintings.
The application was built through Agile method, which ensured that the virtual guide would be exactly how the customer envisioned it.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Game engine: Unity
Language: C#, PHP
IDE: Visual Studio
Other tools: Git, Jenkins, HockeyApp, Google App Engine