The antithesis of a museum piece, this modern BBC AR app brings new life to historic treasures.

Throughout history, humans have made amazing things. And the reality is that you’ll never see more than a tiny fraction of them in the flesh. Fortunately, the technology of the day has always tried to help – books, then CD-ROMs, and more recently apps where you can spin 3D photographs with a finger. But the BBC’s Civilisations AR takes things a step further, dumping a museum of ancient and modern wonders in your living room.

In reality, Civilisations AR in fact draws from over 30 British museums, taking in everything from an Egyptian mummy to iconic contemporary sculptures from the likes of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. And because this is an AR app, you can get up close and personal with every object.


If you’ve used AR apps before, you know what you’re in for. Have the app find a flat surface (possibly after first downloading ARCore if you’re on Android), at which point an object will appear, like someone’s plonked it in your room – or, in some cases, made it worryingly levitate before your very eyes.