The Museums Immersive Network, known as MIN, is a network that was created in partnership with XpoNorth to build bridges between tech businesses, museums and heritage sites. MIN was developed as part of the wAVE (Augmented and Virtual Experiences) Project, which you can find out more about on the wAVE webpage here. Immersive technology includes technology such as virtual and augmented reality, holograms, chatbots, AI, facial recognition and lots more in this rapidly developing field.
The network has been established to promote and share best practice, new developments, skills development opportunities and potential collaborations with immersive technology and museums. Immersive technology offers the potential to interpret our collections and share our stories in new, accessible and interesting ways. We hope the Museums Immersive Network will support the establishment of immersive technology more broadly within the sector and boost confidence in working with tech businesses to create new experiences for our communities.
“We have created the Museums Immersive Network as a place to gather and share best practice, whilst acknowledging that the technology is advancing so fast nobody is an expert. We hope that the network will establish immersive technology more broadly within the sector so that we can begin to truly realise the amazing potential it has to make our organisations more relevant, engaging and accessible.” – Amy Shakespeare, Innovation Manager at CMP.
XpoNorth, CMP’s partner in MIN, is a year-round support programme for Highlands and Islands-based businesses, which helps grow the region’s creative economy. Nicola Henderson, XpoNorth’s Arts and Heritage Consultant, says,
“For me, MIN is a vehicle to bring museums, tech businesses, academics and funders together in order to help encourage critical conversation in this sphere so that heritage organisations can not only see the potential for their communities, but also to ensure that any approach to immersive tech is thoughtful, considered and will be as impactful as possible for all involved. I have been delighted to continue working with the wAVE team on MIN; we all bring different areas of expertise, knowledge and contacts which strengthens the network for all involved and helps ensure the conversation is inclusive, relevant, interesting and inspiring.”
So how can you get involved in the network? MIN has a bi-annual webinar alongside a podcast series called ‘Immersively, Museums’. A key aim of the network is to create a platform for honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities for museums using immersive technology. To support these conversations through the podcast ‘Immersively, Museums’ we invite experts from both the immersive and museums sectors to share their thoughts, challenging many preconceptions which are associated with immersive and museums. We envision ‘Immersively, Museums’ as the agony aunt for all things museums and immersive, a safe place where people can ask tough questions, share expertise and learn together. You can listen to our previous podcasts on Spotify here. If you’re interested in speaking on our podcast then you can email us at MIN@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk.
MIN has run two webinars, an inaugural webinar and its most recent one on ‘Futureproofing Museums for a Post-Covid World: The Potential of Immersive Tech’. This event focused on how immersive technology can be utilised to futureproof museums in a post-Covid world. The presentations covered a range of social, technological and collaborative developments in the museum and cultural sector across the world, which have happened during lockdown or in response to the pandemic. We were really pleased with the success of the webinar, we had over 300 registrations and our attendees came from all over the world, you can see the spread of attendees from this map. You can also see both of MIN’s webinars on CMP’s YouTube channel here.
MIN also has a Twitter account and a bi-weekly newsletter. Our fortnightly newsletter gives updates not only on what MIN is doing, but also what’s happening in the world of immersive technology and museums generally, and opportunities that network members may be interested in. You can sign up for the mailing list here. On our Twitter account we also post about upcoming MIN events and general museums and immersive tech news/articles/events, as well as some fun stuff and other interactions. You can follow us @MuseumsIN.