I’ve written a few times about some interesting ways that museums are attempting to use technology to spice up their offering. For instance, the British Museum announced early this year a partnership with Google to use the Street View cameras to create a virtual tour of the museum to try and open up new markets.
You then had the Guggenheim creating a virtual futures market where they asked visitors to use 10,000 units of virtual currency to ‘bet’ on the technologies they thought would make a splash in future.
A Human Solution
Suffice to say, most of these developments are more towards the high-tech end of things, but a museum based in New York is attempting to tap into the wisdom of the crowd to provide museum goers with a richer experience.
The ASK Brooklyn Museum has built an app to allow visitors to tap into an interactive tour guide. Via the app, museum goers can ask questions about the exhibits, with museum experts then attempting to provide real-time answers.
The app, which comes in the form of a simple messaging platform, can be accessed via simply typing into the dialogue box. Alongside a text message, the visitor can attach a photo of the exhibit to help guide the response sent back to them.
If there is no identifying photo attached, the app is capable of detecting the location of the visitor so that the expert has an idea where they are in the museum. Their response can include details about the exhibit, but also other items that may be of interest.
Whilst it’s an interesting approach, I do wonder just how effective it will be at driving up engagement. It takes me a whole lot of time to type anything meaningful into my phone, and I wouldn’t really want to spend so much of my time in a museum glued to my phone.
Suffice to say, I may be altogether atypical, however, and other users may love such a service. Time will undoubtedly tell.