A different kind of museum visit: A virtual journey through the history of SCHOTT

Otto Schott in Augmented Reality

Photo: Jürgen Scheere

On the tracks of the famous chemist Otto Schott

Otto Schott was a trained chemist who was fascinated by the detailed study of material properties and their interrelationships - especially of glass. One day in 1897, he developed a new type of glass: lithium glass. This is the reason why Schott is such a special person today, especially for those of us who live and work here in Jena. Schott sent a sample of lithium glass to the famous physicist Ernst Abbe. This led to an exchange of letters between the two of them, which finally prompted Schott to come to Jena and settle down there. Together with Carl Zeiß and his son Roderich, the two geniuses founded today's SCHOTT AG.

The extension of an exhibition area full of historical treasures

The SCHOTT Villa is the house where Otto Schott once lived. Today, it houses numerous exhibitions that show what moved the chemist and what he achieved. His story tells of all the hurdles and resistance that had to be overcome in order to found the technology group and to bring his product to the international market. The museum offers numerous narrative exhibits that were to be shown and presented without restriction. We wanted to make it possible to upgrade and expand the exhibition space of the SCHOTT Villa without large installations. Our vision was to inspire with the valuable historical and cultural heritage of the SCHOTT Villa.

Guided tours by Otto Schott himself

What could inspire visitors more than to meet the famous Otto Schott face to face? In our opinion, this cannot be topped. So we revived the company founder as an augmented reality projection and animated his three-dimensional image. In original size, he greets every single guest and introduces himself personally to them with his voice via audio guide. He then takes his guests by the hand and leads them through the history of his life and work. At the end he thanks them for their attention and is ready to take a personal souvenir photo with them.

Experience the creation of the legendary and all changing letter

Without him, SCHOTT AG would probably never have existed: The lines about optical glass that Schott wrote to Ernst Abbe were decisive for the creation of the international technology group. A 360-degree panorama, which can also be enjoyed in virtual reality, gives the historical document the shine it deserves. You can see Otto Schott writing and hear the scratching of his pen on the paper.

A museum visit full of surprises

To add even more depth to the exhibition, visitors can virtually "tour" various rooms, e.g. Schott's study room or the factory hall, surrounded by an impressive sound backdrop. The family picture of the Schott family can also be projected directly onto the location where it was taken with the help of Augmented Reality. Exciting surprises can be found at every corner and now and then even product visualizations in 3D. Virtual photo albums tell the story of past production processes. In addition to all this, the SCHOTT Villa can even be entered from home in a 360-degree tour.

Our app, which makes all this possible, is available for free for both Android and iOS. We are very proud of the result of our innovative work and are happy to announce that our app will be available for all visitors from October 9th, 2020.

And now we wish everyone lots of fun at the "Meet and Greet" with Otto Schott or a virtual museum visit per 360 degree tour from a distance 😊