The Historium made future-proof with virtual reality of the highest quality: both as an experience attraction and at home

Since the start of 2012, people have been able to experience the Golden Century of Bruges thanks to the revolutionary technology of the Historium. In 2015, this experience attraction began to experiment with virtual reality and launched the mobile City VR. Now, a good year later, the Historium is once again ready to play the innovation card in its search for ever-improved virtual reality. We are pleased to announce two exciting new developments: a new version of the Historium VR Experience and the brand new application 'Historium VR'.

The Historium VR Experience, the virtual reality experience that visitors can enjoy in the Historium itself, has been made much more interactive, much more accessible and much more spectacular than ever before.  In addition, the Historium is also pioneering a completely new and ground-breaking application called  'Historium VR: Relive the History of Bruges’, which will allow people to experience Bruges' Golden Century at home. Prepare to be amazed, because never before has the history of Bruges been so tantalizingly tangible!

Ready for the next level
Virtual, mixed and augmented reality are unquestionably the methods of the future for gathering knowledge and providing leisure experiences. The technical possibilities are already astonishing, but so far very few uses have reached the market, since the development of the software is both labour-intensive and costly. As a result, the development of the app 'Historium VR: Relive the History of Bruges' by the Historium, in collaboration with Sevenedge Interactive Media and Alfa Vision, is big news.  The app, which can now be purchased via the online store of HTC Vive and from the beginning of 2017 onwards also via the online stores of Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens, stands out from its rivals by virtue of its superb quality and the unique manner in which it combines high entertainment value with well-researched historical subject matter.

You will experience the Golden Century from the comfort of your own armchair: talking to the people of medieval Bruges, rummaging through a barrel of spices, shooting a bow and arrow, rowing along the Bruges canals... This app takes the exploration of Bruges to the next level.
The game is an extended and player version of the VR Experience that is used in the Historium.

Christophe Roose, General Manager of the Historium: "Even in a rapidly evolving market, our product will maintain its pioneering position. The app makes use of the very latest technology, not only to experience our historical content in the best possible way, but also to interact with that content. Because you can choose and influence your experience, each time you will enjoy a different and personalized voyage of discovery through medieval Bruges. This is truly ground-breaking. While Vive and Rift are fairly close to each other in terms of the experience they offer, Hololens takes things a stage further, so that we can speak of 'mixed' reality or 'augmented' reality. Something virtual is projected into the 'real world', which produces an amazing effect."


For both the specialist and the general public
The app 'Historium VR: Relive the History of Bruges' will initially reach the general public through the activities of pioneers and adepts, who already have the necessary headsets and devices to experience virtual reality to the full. However, this situation will gradually change.  Thanks to the increasing availability of VR glasses, this new technology will grow dramatically in popularity in the months and years ahead, making it available to a much wider audience. The Historium wants to bring high-quality virtual reality closer to ordinary people in large numbers. What makes this app so special for the pioneering public is the optimal experience of content that is historically and academically correct, which is ground-breaking in its approach.

Better and more
Christophe Roose: "Step by step and in an accessible way, we want to make our visitors more familiar with the possibilities of VR. At the beginning of 2015, we started with a temporary 'laboratory' experience in the Historium itself. In the autumn of 2015, we launched the City VR, a free download for smartphones, which you can play with an 8 euro cardboard.  This free app allows people to walk through the city and view six historical locations as they used to be. A few months ago we used the very latest technology to further refine the 'VR Experience' in the Historium. The images are sharper and you can now see and use your virtual hands, which makes the experience more intense, more interactive and more spectacular."

This VR Experience has become so popular, also with larger groups, that we now need to extend our capacity. The five booths or cabins of the original VR Lab were increased to ten at the beginning of December 2016. In other words, a doubling of the existing capacity. In the first quarter of 2017, the Historium will create a dedicated VR zone with 20 cabins. Historians, cultural added-value seekers, families and schools who want to sample the magic of virtual reality will then be able to experience Bruges' Golden Century in all its glory.

Christophe Roose: "It is noticeable that more and more schools are linking their visit to the Historium with the VR Experience. This is logical: the 'City VR', the 'Historium VR Experience' and the 'Historium VR' are all innovative pedagogic tools that closely reflect the interests of pupils and students of all ages. The new technologies offer the possibility to approach subjects in an innovative yet educational manner, which has aroused the curiosity of many schools."

It’s all in the game
With the app 'Historium VR: Relive the History of Bruges', our experience attraction has already achieved what many other providers and developers still only dream of. By adding a gaming element to virtual reality, the experience becomes broader and more exciting than ever before, allowing it to break through the walls of the Historium itself. 
In this way, the Historium once again confirms its position as one of the top innovators in the museum world. Our new attraction effectively transforms the museum experience into a home experience.


Practical information
The press can test the app 'Historium VR: relive the history of Bruges' at the Historium, Markt 1, 8000 Bruges on the 13th of December or later on demand.
The 'Historium VR: relive the history of Bruges app can be purchased via the online store of HTC Vive. From the beginning of 2017 onwards, it will also be available via the online stores of Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens .

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A first impression of Historium VR:

Press questions and image material: : or 0032(0)472 900 405.


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