CWI and Sound and Vision open virtual museum during VR Days Amsterdam

3D video will change the way we experience cultural heritage in the future. The virtual museum of CWI and Sound and Vision is a demonstration of how virtual reality will change the public’s experience of a museum visit.

Publication date
28 Oct 2021

Will 3D video change the way we experience cultural heritage? From November 15th to 17th, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision will give a sneak peek into the future of shared, remote access to cultural heritage with a demonstration of the pioneering work MediaScape Extended Reality (XR). MediaScape XR is the first demonstration where visitors can interact with the collection of Sound and Vision in a virtual space shared with other remote visitors. The event will take place during the VRDays - Immersive Tech Week - in OBA Oosterdok Amsterdam. The virtual demo is open to all visitors of OBA Oosterdok for free.

Remote visitors

The demonstration of the MediaScape XR places the remote visitor in the virtual Sound and Vision museum. The experience is tailor made for one specific cultural artifact: the costume that Jerney Kaagman, lead singer of the rock band Earth and Fire, wore in the music program Toppop in 1979. In the virtual environment, visitors can freely interact with a high-quality 3D model of the costume, enjoy a curated tour through this model and recreate the Toppop show with other remote visitors.


Project leader Pablo Cesar (CWI): “This new VR experience of a museum visit will allow people in the future to enjoy a cultural and educational experience from the comfort of their own homes and let them interact with the museum pieces in novel ways. One step forward, because it will let a museum experience go beyond the possibilities onsite. This innovation will help museums to increase their impact and reach new audiences.”

Eppo van Nispen tot Sevenaer, director Sound and Vision: ‘A museum is something you want to experience with others. We are very excited for this first demonstration of MediaScape XR, where you can interact with parts of our collection during a remote visit with a friend or family member.’


The costume that Jerney Kaagman, lead singer of the rock band Earth and Fire, wore in the music program Toppop in 1979

Social Virtual Reality

This new museum experience allows visitors to relive the history of museum pieces through the new medium of Social Virtual Reality. It illustrates how the traditional model of a museum experience as a passive observation is decisively shifting to active, interpretive engagement. Museums are rethinking and reworking their spaces to promote deeper understanding of their collections and mission, greater interactivity with their audiences, a fuller range of activities, and a more advanced usage of immersive technologies. The ongoing effort of digitizing museum collections has focused on the creation of digital surrogates as part of the preservationplan. MediaScape XR facilitates novel manners to enjoy and experience the artifacts or interact with them in meaningful and socially engaging ways.

CWI and Sound and Vision will provide a forum for discussing this current and relevant topic: cultural institutions are under pressure to make collections available online, by going a step beyond and enabling highly immersive and interactive experiences. The event offers visitors a unique playful experience of a shared virtual museum visit and will provide insights on how cultural institutions can take the next step after the digitization process of their collection is completed.


Talks and workshops

The showcase will serve as the framework for a set of talks and workshops during the VR days on November 17th about how Social Virtual Reality can be beneficial for cultural heritage archives like the Rijksmuseum, Nederlands Dans Theater, NEMO, libraries and other cultural archives. Patrick de Lange (Sound) will lead the session ‘Unlocking Cultural Heritage’. Pablo Cesar (CWI) and Philo van Kemenade (Sound and Vision) will present the demonstration. The panel consists of delegates from industry and cultural heritage, like Willemijn Maas (NDT) and Jacob Groote (KPN). As the immersive technology evolves, the opportunities increase as well. In several workshops, participants from the cultural sector get support to design experiments, business models and pilot projects to add value by unlocking cultural heritage through immersive media.

More information

About CWI's DIS group

CWI’s DIS research group focuses on facilitating and improving the way people use interactive systems and how people communicate with each other. We combine data science with a strong human-centric, empirical approach to understand the experience of users. This enables us to design and develop next generation intelligent and empathic systems. We base our results on realistic testing grounds and data sets, and embrace areas such as ubiquitous computing, human-centered multimedia systems, and languages. Group leader Pablo Cesar won the Dutch prize for ICT research in 2020 and is also a professor of Human-Centered Multimedia at TU Delft.

About Sound & Vision

Sound and Vision is the leading institute for media in the Netherlands and one of the largest audio visual archives in the world. It is an inspiring, creative and welcoming meeting place for professionals and others interested in the industry; online, in our physical museum and sometimes on location. We  preserve and provide access to different types of media, including radio and television programmes,  video games, written print media, political cartoons, GIFs, websites and historical objects. Sound and  Vision is one of the leading authorities when it comes to providing insight into the Dutch media  landscape and interpreting current developments from the perspective of media history. We do this  with the aim of showing how media impacts everyday life and in conjunction with many partners,  including creative media makers, brilliant experts, business stakeholders and relevant influencers


About Sound. We help humans and organizations to grow & prosper by unlocking their digital potential. We specialize in strategy, people, business and product development, blending people and technology. Our digital agency consists of dynamic mix of strategists, product owners, innovators, operational go-getters, and business developers with an extensive network that share a collaborative passion for the digital economy. We actively invest in new tech related ventures. We work for both national and international clients like KPN, BAM, ING, Schiphol, Dutch government, European Union, Vodafone Ziggo, Samsung and many others.

Demonstrations of the work of Pablo Cesar and his team