Verizon and The Metropolitan Museum of Art launch new AR app for Roblox

In Augmented Reality News 

August 2, 2023 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Verizon have recently announced the launch of ‘Replica,’ a first-of-its-kind experience at the Museum that allows visitors to scan artwork and bring elements of the works digitally into the global immersive platform Roblox through augmented reality (AR).

Starting today, users can download the Replica app for free on iOS and Android devices, and from tomorrow will be able to access the in-app map to guide them to artworks around the Museum, learn about different works of art, and digitally collect unique pieces for free for their Roblox avatar.

Each wearable piece in Replica was inspired by art from across The Met’s vast collection of 1.5 million objects; the 37 selected artworks are drawn from objects on view across more than 30 galleries spanning nine curatorial areas, including the American Wing, Egyptian Art, European Paintings, and Asian Art.

Highlight pieces include:

  • Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887);
  • Statuette of Anubis (332–30 B.C.);
  • Perseus with the Head of Medusa (1804–6);
  • Prince Holding a Falcon (ca. 1820);
  • Marble capital and finial in the form of a Sphinx (ca. 530 B.C.);
  • Reaching Jaguar (1906–7; cast 1926);
  • Vase with Rabbits (late 16th century);
  • Helmet (Zukinnari Kabuto) (16th century); and
  • Armor of Henry II, King of France (ca. 1555).

“This groundbreaking app brings artwork from The Met’s illustrious collection into the virtual realm of Roblox, transforming the way visitors engage with art and crafting a captivating, fun, and truly unique journey through the Museum,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO. “Replica is a testament to The Met’s ambitious exploration of educational initiatives that inspire playful connections with art in the Museum as well as in the digital realm.”

Once inside the app, visitors can follow fun and accessible clues that appear on the digital map, leading to various galleries and works throughout the Museum. After the artworks are scanned in real life, each object is transformed into a collectible replica and can be transferred to the Roblox platform. These objects will then appear in the user’s inventory for their avatar to use as items and accessories.

The Roblox experience contains a Met-inspired virtual version of the Museum itself, where users can explore the Museum in their newly acquired avatar items. Each Replica item is accompanied by information and details about the object and its history.

Replica was built as a user-friendly and engaging experience for children and young adults. The app features strong visuals, clues, and short, digestible educational moments to help users along their journey, and was created and designed by a partnership of companies, including UNIT9, Verizon, Roblox, Ode to Joy, and The Met.

“In partnership with The Met, we created Replica as an experience to connect people to art in a new and culturally relevant way,” said Kristin McHugh, SVP of Marketing and Creative at Verizon. “From The Met Unframed to this exciting launch of Replica, our technology can help bridge gaming and art, creating new possibilities for art education.”

Replica will be featured on The Met’s website as well as on social media using the hashtag #TheMetReplica.

Image credit: The Met / Verizon

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.