Today’s Washington Post Museum section has an interesting article , “For Exhibits the Future is Virtually Here” by Jason Edward Kaufman. The piece provides a look at how museums have been folding mobile technologies into exhibits and how mobile technologies are transforming the museum experience. What’ s impressive about the museum approach is that museum staffs realize they don’t know everything. They describe this phase as one of experimentation where they can learn what works and what doesn’t. Diversity of user devices, thick walls of some buildings impacting broadband, and a shortage of resources are just a few of the problems museums confront as they develop strategies. Despite the problems, the goal of enhancing the visitor experience and expanding the reach of collections remain a consistent vision throughout the museum community.
MOMA and the Indianapolis Museum of Art have been at the head of the game. In the Washington region, Nancy Proctor, head of mobile strategies for the Smithsonian provides a preview of an App under development that will allow users to look through their phone camera on the Mall and see a ghost image of the National Museum of African American History and Culture which isn’t slated to open until 2015 . The Google Art Project is also mentioned as an initiative that is moving in the right direction.
As a life long museum visitor and creative techie, I’m excited by the advances and support the goals of museums to expand their reach!