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09/17/2018 HYU News > Academics


The Development of Multi-Sensory Exhibitions

Professor Ryu Ho-kyung (Departments of Arts and Technology)


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Professor Ryu Ho-kyung (Department of Arts and Technology) is currently working on a technological program that allows the multi-sensory exhibition in places such as art, science, and historical museums. Having planned the project for three and a half years, it has been roughly six months since Ryu and his team initiated the project. Collaborating with the Gwacheon National Science Museum (GNSM), the team is planning to exhibit its first results in September of 2019.
From left, Jung Dong-hoon, Professor Ryu Ho-kyung, Jin Sang-min, and Lee Seung-jung are working to develop a multi-sensed exhibition, which allows spectators to experience the exhibition not only in a visual sense, but also in audible and tacticle senses.

The term 'multi-sensory exhibition' refers to an exhibition that does not provide only visual experience, but also allows its spectators to hear and feel the displayed works. Formed with four research students, Jin Sang-min, Lee Seung-jung, Jung Dong-hoon, Min Bo-kun (Department of Arts and Technology, Master’s Program), and two professors, Ryu and Kim Ji-eun (Department of Technology and Innovation Movement), the team has divided its research plans into four stages.

The first stage is to develope a framework and prototype for the multi-sensory exhibition, followed by the next stage of collecting and analyzing the data based on the reactions of spectators. Then, applying an actual multi-sensory exhibition at the GNSM is in order, after which the final stage of developing a guideline for applications to other site operations comes. Proceeding with the early stage of development, the team is currently focusing on developing a prototype of a multi-sensory exhibition, which requires the convergence of various fields of technology.

“Psychological elements, design elements, and engineering design are the three main elements necessary for the project,” explained Ryu. With each member of the team having his or her own specialty, they have managed to incorporate three types of technology to actualize the different senses of spectators. As for the visual aspect, the team is planning to shoot AI (artificial intelligence) visions upon a half-transparent screen, which would play 3D vision throughout the exhibition. According to Jung, it would enable spectators to interact with the exhibited materials, similar to the movie ‘Night at the Museum (2011).’

As for hearing sense, directional speakers are under development. The speakers can only be heard in the area in which they are targeted, which prevents the whole museum from being sabotaged by multiple sources of sound. Ryu gave an example of how spectators would be able to hear the sound of a crying dinosaur only in the front of the exhibited model, once the speakers are applied. Lastly, for tactile sense, vibration mats will be applied, which are sound-induced vibration. These mats are designed to react to the vibration of sound, which enables them to be activated in accordance with the directional speakers and provide tactile aspects.
From left, Jin, Lee, and Jung are explaining the technologies that are applied in the development of multi-sensory exhibitions.

This project has its significance in that it has the main purpose of ‘returning to the public.’ Applying technology in an area that is closely related to and enjoyed by the public was the key importance for Ryu. This whole project allows the public, especially students, to have an improved experience at museums. Once applied to all museums, multi-sensory exhibitions would allow the spectators to become investigators that actually interact with the displayed materials. For this reason, Ryu and his team are also focusing on lowering the price exhibitions, so that they can be applied to all museums at an affordable cost.

“Many students these days tend to think of research and development as something that is distant and unapproachable. However, research is something that is close to our everyday lives and can be used for solving real world problems,” maintained Ryu. He also added that those who would like to participate in this project should contact Jung by e-mail ( Although still in its initial stage, there is no doubt that multi-sensory exhibitions would provide a completely new experience for museum-goers.                  

Choi Seo-yong
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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