The DIA launches the first public mobile tour to integrate 3D wayfinding and AR experiences with Google Tango augmented reality technology

On January 25, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has premiered a mobile tour called Lumin that uses Google’s Tango technology to provide visitors with new, in-depth ways to engage with the DIA’s renowned collection. The DIA is the first art museum in the world to integrate this 3D wayfinding and smartphone augmented reality (AR) technology into a public mobile tour.

Lumin content was created by the DIA’s interpretive team leveraging GuidiGO’s new augmented reality platform, AR Composer, built specifically for Tango. This allows the user to interact with real size 3D animations, information and display directions in the visitor’s field of view.

Lumin connects visitors with artworks in a global context beyond the DIA,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “Augmented reality allows the user to see the unseen, imagine art in its original setting and understand how objects were used and experienced in people’s everyday lives. It is an exciting way to incorporate the latest technology into the visitor experience.

Visitors will hold a Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first Tango enabled phone, to explore different works of art. The initial phase of the project includes seven tour stops with a variety of AR experiences, including:

A Mummy, from Ancient Egypt

Mummies give us insights into ancient burial rituals. With the app’s AR overlay, you can peer beneath the sarcophagus and even the mummies’ bandages to explore an X-ray-like view of the skeleton.


The Ishtar Gate, from Ancient Babylonia

The Ishtar Gate once stood six stories high. Now, with the power of Tango’s motion tracking technology, you can explore the gate at scale, walk under its arch, and see where the Detroit Institute of Art’s 3×4-foot mosaic piece fits into this architectural wonder.


A limestone Relief, from Mesopotamia

The limestone relief was originally painted with vibrant colors, which have long since faded. By looking through your Tango enable device, you can tap on the relief to see what it would have looked like when it was first created thousands of years ago.


A Cylinder Seal, from Mesopotamia

Small round cylinder seals were once used to make impressions on clay for items like jewelry and signatures for administrative purposes. Now, instead of just seeing the seals in a case, you can roll the seals in AR to see the written characters and figurative scenes that they create.



This is just the beginning of how you’ll be able to use Tango in museums to see more, hear more and learn more – in other words, to experience museums around the world in a whole new way.

“Lumin” in the Press:

  • Hyperallergic: More Screens, More Knowledge: Testing the Detroit Institute of Arts’ New Augmented Reality App >>
  • Fortune: Google Wants To Give Museum Visitors A Pokémon Go-Like Experience >>
  • Venture Beat: Google opens Tango augmented reality platform to museums, starting with Detroit Institute of Arts >>
  • The News Herald: Augmented reality adds dimension to art at DIA >>
  • The Economist: Futurism: museums and technology >>
  • Geek: Detroit Institute of Arts Enriches Museum Experience with Google Tango >>
  • Tom’s Hardware: Google’s Project Tango Heads To The Detroit Institute Of Arts >>
  • CNET: Google’s project Tango AR lets museum visitors delve deeper >>
  • Tech Crunch: A Detroit art museum is leveraging Google Tango for an AR history lesson >>

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