A Detroit art museum is leveraging Google Tango for an AR history lesson

For all the hype around augmented reality, Google’s Tango technology hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. In fact, the second handset to support the tech – the ASUS ZenFone AR — was only announced last week at CES.

But there’s certainly a chance for Tango to have life beyond the consumer space. The Detroit Institute of Arts is looking to the tech as a way to engage museum-goers, following in the footsteps of last year’s MWC-tied play by Barcelona’s Museum Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

Like that offering, the new exhibit was developed by the GuidiGo firm. The DIA exhibit leverages the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro to offer so contextual aesthetic extras to the museum’s historical displays, making history, you know, come alive. Some examples from the museum:

  • In the Egyptian gallery visitors can hold the device up to a 2000-year-old mummy to reveal an x-ray view of the skeleton inside.
  • While looking at a beige limestone sculpture, the screen displays the original vibrant colors that adorned an Assyrian palace thousands of years ago.
  • In front of a section of the wall from the Ishtar Gate, visitors can use the device to walk through a digital reconstruction of the gates of ancient Babylon.

The Lumin (named for the Latin word for light) exhibit opens January 25 at the museum. The museum will also add more exhibits to the project based on visitor feedback.