On Monday, Google debuted Lumin, a Tango-powered mobile tour designed to ennoble museum visits. Lumin was developed by a French company GuidiGO and the Detroit Institute of Arts, with the latter being the only museum currently supported by this Tango app. Anyone who visits the DIA can now ask for a Lenovo PHAB2 Pro at the front desk that they’ll be able to use while exploring the Institutes’ massive collection. The Lumin app that comes pre-installed on the device provided by the DIA will allow visitors to see another side of its exhibit, as the augmented reality experience will deliver a plethora of information on many of the Institute’s items presented in a captivating and highly visual way. The Mountain View-based tech giant said that it’s currently looking to introduce similar Tango-powered AR experiences in more museums worldwide, and further information on that expansion will likely follow later in the year.
As for Lumin, the Tango app provides users with a lot of insight into many of the DIA’s exhibits, including mummies, the Ishtar Gate from Babylonia, and limestone reliefs from the ancient Mesopotamia. The GuidiGO-made app allows people to see X-rays of several sarcophagi and an AR depiction of the Ishtar Gate in real scale. This solution also colors the DIA’s Mesopotamian reliefs whose colors have faded many centuries ago. Finally, Lumin allows visitors to interact with several cylinder seals found in the ancient Mesopotamia that the DIA has been showcasing for over 50 years. Some applications of this AR technology can be seen in the gallery below.
Justin Quimby, a Senior Product Manager at Google, wrote how Lumin is just the beginning of the company’s efforts to ennoble museum exploration, adding how more updates on that front will follow soon. In the meantime, the Alphabet-owned Internet giant is expecting dozens of new Tango-enabled apps to hit the Google Play Store as it’s continuing to push for a wider adoption of its growing AR ecosystem. If Tango manages to land on more smartphones and other devices like headsets in the future, Google’s platform will likely start growing naturally, but for the time being, it remains a niche product.