What are Museums’ most important needs today?
Geolocation within the museum
For the visitors, it is important to understand how the museum is organized. They want to find their way easily in the museum. When you don’t have a whole afternoon to visit a museum or if you wish to see mostly artifacts from a certain movement or period of time, you need more than just a paper map of the museum. This is a question of practicality: where should I start the visit? Where can I find Gauguin’s paintings? Will impressionism painters be situated in the same room? How can I get back to the main entrance for a break? Is there a room nearby where I can sit down for a bit? Where is the elevator? Those are some of the questions visitors need answers to.
The User Experience
The images above and below are an example of what has been done at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Nantes. The kiosks allow visitors to locate all of the paintings very precisely, as well as to make some specific research.
Enhance the museum’s content
For the museum’s team, who wants to enhance their curators’ work and guide the visitors through their museum collection. This implies the creation of themed tours: family tour, children tour, impressionism tour, 19th century tour, one-hour tour, etc. There are endless possibilities.
As you can see here, a back-office helps to easily organize the data: list of artifacts, a map of the museum, linked to different uses and call-to-actions:
item => point of interest => object => location (reserve or visible: which room) => century => 3D content image recognition=> painting current => AR information, and so on.
These tours can of course be experienced through different devices: tablets, smartphones, i-Phones, specific audioguides, cardboards, etc.
Choosing the right device
It is an important choice, and you need to take into account several specifics. Is Wi-Fi available in the museum, or in the area where people will be using the device? Is the content too heavy to be downloaded? What other possibilities are there when Wi-Fi is not an option? What about the battery? Should there be some devices available for rent in all cases?
This is an example of how AR can be used for some areas/some contents in the museum with a tablet or a phone. It is the same idea as when creating the tours: the technology is there to serve the content. Although this is very different from a tour: there are many different possible entries, allowing to go deeper into a painting, to literally dive into it thanks to all related elements. It’s all about possible interactions!
Image recognition helps to put some of the museum’s artifacts that are in the reserves forward. Not all of the museum’s artifacts are taken into account; the ones that have been selected are to be discovered through a treasure hunt, a geolocated tour, etc.