The past few years have seen a big increase in the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in museum environments in an attempt for museums to embrace technological innovations and adapt to the challenges of the digital era. Although there are many studies examining the advantages of VR technologies in museum environments as well as the visitors’ experience and perceptions, what is usually not studied is the experiences of museum professionals who are responsible for a museum’s objects and narratives.
Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore the practices, experiences, and perceptions of museum professionals on the use of VR technology in museums, their perceived advantages and challenges of such technologies, and their vision for the future of technology in museums. The research was built around in-depth interviews with museum professionals from a number of countries around the world (the US, Australia, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, and Finland) who oversaw or worked with particular VR projects in their own institutions or have extensive knowledge and experience with technologies in museums. These professionals shared details of the VR projects they have worked on, the procedures they follow, their experiences so far, and their future aspirations.
The ultimate aim of this research is to offer a more critical and holistic examination and assessment of the use of VR in museums and provide suggestions for designing and developing VR projects in the future.