Thanks to augmented reality technology, Cairo’s famous Egyptian Museum is set to receive a new tour guide – in the form of Ancient Egypt’s famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun.
The New Kingdom king will appear to museum visitors as a hologram at the central Tutankhamun exhibit. According to Ramy Hammady, the application designer, the pharaoh will introduce himself and show visitors his riches. The experience will require a headset, into which Hammady’s ‘Museum-Eye’ system will be integrated, and will transform the gallery into Tutankhamun’s temple. There will be a floating user interface with options of what to look at as the pharaoh takes users on a tour of his palace.
The museum has been seeking ways to offer a more memorable experience to visitors and approved an eight-day trial of Hammady’s ‘Museum-Eye’ prototype. Hammady utilised the skills of a researcher at the University of Huddersfield, who is studying for his doctorate, in animation and collaborated with other researchers at his university in order to produce the prototype that was showcased at the museum.
About 171 participants enjoyed using the device – including the current Earl of Carnarvon, the great-grandson of the aristocrat who gave financial backing to Egyptologist Howard Carter’s excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Hammady, speaking to VR Focus, stated of the prestigious visit, “he was invited by the museum management to try the system, and he was very happy with it.”
Tutankhamun, the 18th dynasty pharaoh who ruled Ancient Egypt from c.1332-1323 BC, is well-known as one of the most famous pharaohs in history. The Egyptian Museum is the repository for the items found in his tomb, including his death mask which is made from two layers of high-karat gold and is perhaps considered the quintessential image of Ancient Egypt.