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Verizon and Smithsonian Launch AR Museums

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user examines dinosaur skeleton image on a screen

Smithsonian Open Access provides direct access to museum content.

Credit: Smithsonian

As COVID-19 restrictions continue, Verizon is putting Smithsonian museums online for everyone to experience. The Smithsonian Open Access initiative is aimed at providing students, teachers, and parents with educational content, through a partnership with Verizon's 5G Labs that'll tap augmented reality and narrated audio.

Verizon and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's Interaction Lab, are calling on creators and technology entrepreneurs to build interactive tools that redefine the way people visit, interact with, and learn from museums.

"Whether kids have returned to the classroom or are remote learning, we need to think of new ways technology can help them engage with educational content," says Sanyogita Shamsunder, Verizon VP of technology development and 5G Labs. "Activating Smithsonian Open Access is a great step forward toward immersive, interactive, and remote experiences."

So far, there are exhibits about U.S. history; air and space; innovative inventions; arts and architecture; and extinct animals.

Later this year, Smithsonian Open Access will award $10,000 commissions to six teams to build prototypes of interactive museum projects.

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