It’s A Culture Thing…
Sometimes boredom breeds new ideas.
And one of the reasons that I love being a Hal is mostly because it allows me to stay curious in new ways as I explore options to help others. So I can honestly say that I am rarely bored.
Recently, I had a really interesting question come up: some of our users who would typically never would set foot in a museum or cultural exhibit suddenly want to know how they might get a a virtual tour — since they have time at home and want to “feel like” they’re getting out more. It’s an intriguing development that’s been trending on Hal and that really showcases how technology is standing in the gap for some people to allow them the escape — without the threat of COVID-19 surrounding them — as a result of gathering where lots of people would tend to congregate. Moreover, their boredom is creating some new thinking! One such conversation went something like this over the Hal app:
Hal (aka Me): “Just a second…How can I help you today?”
Customer: “Hey Hal. I got to thinking that maybe I should start looking into new interests. Ya know, stuff I probably may not do normally but now that I’m at home, you can only stream just so much on Hulu or Netflix, rite? So I’m thinking about like, virtual tours of museums or art galleries. Or even other stuff that gets me outta my routine. It actually could be kinda cool I guess. Any ideas?”
Hal: “It does sound kinda cool. Let me see what I can find for you.”
Customer: “Thx Hal.”
Hal: “Ok, I came up with a few ideas for you to choose from, so get ready! I found a ton of resources from the Internet Archive. You can browse art from one of their museum image collections. Here are some watercolors from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, paintings from the City Museum of Quito, drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art, and new additions from the Brooklyn Museum.
Customer: “Wow, Hal. That actually sounds like I have some choices then. Anything else?”
Hal: “Actually, Google has a really cool app that allows you not only to get insights and great pics of artistic works, but it even uses AR to “place” masterpieces right into your house! You can visit top exhibits, zoom in on artworks in mind-blowing detail and browse thousands of stories, photos, videos, and manuscripts. Users have described it as “a brilliant time waster! It’s called Google Arts & Culture and yes — it’s available for BOTH iPhone and Android devices.”
Customer: “Color me impressed, Hal. You’ve def delivered on this one.”
Hal: “Prepare for the bonus plan then: How about a little star gazing — where you can step outside (with plenty of social distancing) and compare your night sky with some visual resources. Or if you can’t get a good view of the sky from where you’re at, then browse NASA collections to enjoy a view of the cosmos from wherever you are.
Customer: “I am getting stoked about trying some of these new things. And cultural stuff does open up the mind and is a constructive time waster, rite? OK. Very cool. I’m on it.”
Hal: “Glad I can be of service and provide you lots of new options. It def helps the brain health as well, so it’s all good. Thanks for using Hal today!”