- Verizon and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City have teamed up to create an in-app augmented reality (AR) experience that allows visitors to bring elements of the museum’s displays into Roblox, per information shared with Marketing Dive.
- Starting today (Aug. 3) visitors of The Met can download a free app, Replica, and access a map that indicates various items in the museum that can be scanned via mobile device to be turned into a digital collectible and transferred to Roblox as an item or avatar accessory.
- Roblox users can also explore a virtual version of The Met’s facade in addition to other immersive experiences. The effort follows a past tie-up with the museum and Verizon around AR and signals how educational entities are working to engage the next wave of consumers.
Museums have been exploring the use of AR technology to enhance their visitor experience for years, but Verizon and The Met’s partnership offers a unique opportunity to link the real-world experiences with the still-nascent metaverse. The move could help The Met stay relevant with younger, digitally native consumers, while also offering Verizon an opportunity to shore up a stronger connection with the cohort.
"Replica is a testament to The Met’s ambitious exploration of educational initiatives that inspire playful connections with art in the Museum as well as in the digital realm,” said Max Hollein, The Met's Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, in a statement.
Each digital wearable to be obtained through the Replica experience was inspired by The Met’s vast collection of 1.5 million objects. In total, 37 pieces of artwork were selected for the experience, including a Japanese suit of armor stemming from the early 14th to early 15th century and Vincent van Gogh’s straw hat from his 1887 “Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat” piece.
The Met visitors who have accessed the Replica app can follow various clues that appear on an in-app digital map, guiding them through various galleries and items throughout the museum. Once applicable items are scanned, they will be transformed into a collectible replica that can be transferred to Roblox and will appear in users’ inventories. Each Replica item also offers information about an object’s history.
The experience on Roblox also includes explorable spaces, including a portion of the Met, along with the ability for users to display their various collected items in museum-style display cases and take photos in four photo booth spaces.
The experience was created and designed with multidisciplinary company Unit9 and Verizon in collaboration with production and strategy company Ode to Joy, Roblox and The Met. The Replica offering will be promoted on social media with the hashtag #TheMetReplica.
The creation of Replica is the latest collaboration between the museum and Verizon. In 2021, the two entities launched “The Met Unframed” a five-week program that enabled visitors to explore digital galleries and play games that unlocked AR-versions of the art that could be displayed virtually at home.