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Setting sail for the future: Ericsson, Mobi Lab and Estonia Maritime Museum unveil AR partnership

  • Powered by Ericsson’s augmented reality (AR) storytelling platform ‘Every Place Has a Story’ (EPHAS), the new exhibit is extending the experience of visitors to the Estonia Maritime Museum
  • Augmented reality exhibits are expected to become a core feature of the museum experience in the future
Press release
Sep 07, 2022
The Estonia Maritime Museum is extending the experience of visitors with Ericsson’s augmented reality storytelling platform

Surrounded in fog and smashed by towering seas, how did Hioma navigate the treacherous waters of Cape Horn? And what dangers lay in wait? Thanks to the power of augmented reality (AR), Ericsson and the Estonia Maritime Museum are enabling museum visitors to immerse themselves in the trials and tribulations experienced by seafarers during the golden age of sail.

The collaboration is reimagining the museum experience through AR, adding a third dimension to bring objects and scenes to life. With museums pivoting towards digital, AR is expected to become a core feature of the museum in the future.

Launching on September 6, 2022, the exhibit uses AR to superimpose an immersive digital layer (images, text, and sounds) on top of reality through the viewer's smart device. This will provide a more engaging story for visitors, while also allowing them to deep dive into the history of the objects on display.

The exhibit has been developed with Ericsson’s ‘Every Place Has a Story’ (EPHAS) AR platform in collaboration with the Estonia Maritime Museum and Mobi Lab. The platform, created within the Ericsson ONE internal accelerator program, allows creators to use a variety of source media (3D models, video, pictures, and audio) to create immersive AR experiences, accessible through the EPHAS app on a smartphone or tablet.

Based in the Estonia Maritime Museum’s Fat Margaret premises, the exhibit will explore the history of eight ships that defined Estonia’s maritime history, including the Hioma, the first sailboat from Estonia to sail around Cape Horn in 1854, and the Stormbird, one of the best-known Estonian barkentines.

Visitors will be able to use a smart device which can be obtained onsite at the museum without additional charge. By standing in front of the exhibit and scanning a QR code, users will be able to see virtual objects displayed on top of the real environment. This will allow them to explore in-depth information related to the ships, including historical figures, ship specifications, as well as perils faced at sea.

Urmas Dresen, Head of the Estonian Maritime Museum, says: “Almost three years ago, we opened the nearly five-century-old Fat Margaret tower as a museum, with a focus on innovative solutions. Now we are adding to our offering by giving visitors the opportunity to discover the history of the sea through augmented reality. Initially, we will use it to share information about the fate of ships that have played a significant role in the history of Estonia. We hope to make the maritime industry even more interesting for visitors, especially younger visitors.”

Allan Valm, Business Development Executive of Mobi Lab, says: “In Mobi Lab, we believe we can add value to physical locations by displaying virtual content in augmented reality. In addition to engaging 3D stories of cultural heritage in streets, the content like educational 3D objects in classrooms, lifelike product 3D copies at the EXPO, or quickly accessible 3D guidance in work environments.”

Andrus Durejko, Chairman of the Management Board of Ericsson, Estonia, says: “Augmented reality has actively been used in the entertainment, military and design areas, but it’s still in its infancy in the museum realm. It is gratifying to see that one of the most popular and innovative museums in Estonia, the Estonia Maritime Museum, is among the leaders of augmented reality. Together, we have created a unique solution that offers museum visitors an innovative experience. We expect the concept will become the new normal.”