A well-known comedy movie “Night at the museum” lets some imagination go wild with the fossils and statues in the museum coming to life and scaring Ben Stiller out of his wits. Although it will be really scary if museum artifacts come to life and started walking along the aisles, if we are able to pull something to that effect, it will not only be fun but it will enable museums to create a unique experience for art lovers. Imagine if these artifacts and fossils can speak for themselves and brief you about their history as you take leisurely strolls down the museum alley. It turns out with mobile engagement in museums using innovative technology, this may just part of every museum experience.
How museums globally are engaging visitors:
There is no magic in the real world, so how will you make your artifacts speak about their past to the history enthusiast near them. Let us take the examples of Virginia Museum of fine arts Richmond and The Children Museum of Indianapolis to show how museums and art galleries are moving in the direction of giving their exhibits a more lifelike experience. Indianapolis has done the simple task of redirecting the Smartphone users to a wiki page by scanning QR codes placed near the artifacts Richmond, on the other hand, focused more the educational aspect, creating a campaign to aid the parents in educating their kids. They have added QR codes to some of their major exhibits, thus enabling the parents to scan them and directing them to an educational video related to the exhibit. This video is available for download and parents can take it home as a lesson for their kids.
The Cleveland Museum of Art and Bologna’s Museum of Archaeology are using QR codes to do audio tours of their collections. The tour is for the new galleries like ancient Near East, Greek, Roman, Egyptian art; Byzantine and medieval art; African art; and prints and drawings. Once the code has been scanned, the user is taken to an online audio session talking about the history of the exhibit and creating a trip down history.
The Louvre Museum, Paris has created a mobile app that features more than 100 of the museum’s beloved masterpieces, giving a visual treat to the visitors. For each artwork, a couple of exotic images along with text description are preloaded in the mobile app.
A map of the interior also shows where exactly the artwork is situated making the museum visit a breeze for the art enthusiast. Similarly, The British museum app goes a step ahead and adds audio clips to describe 10 masterpieces of the museum such as the Rosetta stone and the Mexican Mosaic. Apart from being used for the tourists it also had an educational value associated with it, with the app being able to read the hieroglyphics of the Rosetta Stone.
In the recent past, Apple’s iBeacons and QR codes have made some news in the retail /Beverage and consumer electronics segment with a statistical positioning of beacons to shoot product information and discount offers to customers creating a more engaging and unique shopping experience.
The scope and creativity of iBeacons are ideally not limited to retails or consumer electronics segment. Museums with large hallways displaying ancient artifacts, animals fossils, vintage painting with vast historical backgrounds are interesting places where deploying mobile engagement technologies like Qliktag along with the intelligent use of beacons/QR codes /NFC can create a holistic experience for the visitors by making the artifacts and painting of historic importance speak for themselves.