Museums and modern navigation technologies
Modern cultural sphere has a great potential for transformation connected with technology development. Following exhibitions and the sphere of entertainment, digitalization is affecting more and more museum spaces that step-by-step move to geolocation solutions for visitors with the aim of realizing the project “Museums of future”. Navigine specializes in indoor positioning and develops the interactive museum technology for museums which are adapted at most to new visual strategies.
Systems for interactive museums
Thanks to digital products, visitors can get a great deal of additional information during their stay in the museum halls. Alongside traditional ways of information display (videos, audio files, holograms, information desks), new technologies accompany people during the visit. Using these technologies, a visitor can create routes around the building, get recommendations and tips, combine virtual and physical space. In other words, one can not only perceive the seen but participate directly in the life of a museum.
Mobile applications, which have to be downloaded to the smartphone in advance, are used for delivering information to visitors. At present there are many technologies which can help in this process. The most common ones are iBeacon.
iBeacon indoor navigation is a geolocation solution that works using BLE-beacons. They are installed in different places in the museum and send information to users’ mobile devices with an interval of a split second. Communication is supported by means of Bluetooth signals. As soon as the user’s smartphone gets signals from the beacons, the mobile application activates the pre-defines actions (tells a story, greets a user or sends notifications about the exhibit located nearby).
The key functions of the program are:
- creating and updating the map of the museum;
- intellectual guide;
- push-notifications which help to inform the visitor about the forthcoming events (exhibitions, contests, etc.);
- creating the shortest route to the exhibit;
- using the location data for creating quests, interactive mini-games;
- creating ‘heat maps’ of users’ movements;
- museum staff monitoring.
Navigine keeps up with the time and offers to use modern museum navigation systems working on the iBeacon technology. The program is based on a wide set of tools that help to realize the concept of “museums of future”. Their application allows improving the user experience, increasing their convenience in examining the exposition and making the visit more pleasant and entertaining.
How to improve the interaction between visitors and the museum?
To simplify the interaction with the museum for visitors, a wide range of techniques can be used – from audio-guides to gamification. Let’s review them in detail.
Thanks to navigation systems, visitors can use the interactive museum map and quickly search the necessary halls. They can make use of a helpful assistant that can pave the way to the required exhibit. Thus, a visit to the museum becomes more informative and helps to find exactly what visitors are interested in.
Mobile navigation not only defines the location of visitors but also improves the user experience. Visitors can choose routes by themselves – the shortest or the most interesting ones.
Audio guides give a possibility to supervise visits and provide useful information about exhibits. Thanks to them, a person can explore the halls all by himself, choose a route around the museum and examine expositions in the pace suitable for him.
Guides can be installed in the mobile application. The indoor navigation system allows getting data about an exhibit while approaching it.
Gamification provides a wide range of activities which turn non-gaming formats of acquaintance with the museum into gaming perception of data. Thanks to borrowing computer game technologies, museums can add dynamics to visits and make them more valuable emotionally.
Considering the experience of different museums, questing (performing tasks on the route) is reported the most popular way of gamification.
Gamification products differ in their aim, progression, so they involve a visitor into a museum space and arouse more interest in various exhibits. However, they are not ends in themselves but the means aimed at adding into the space some elements connected with leisure and entertainment.
Using mobile applications, museums can send visitors push-notifications about interesting expositions or halls, forthcoming exhibitions, and other museum news. Users get detailed information about the museum in the most convenient format for them.
Push-notifications perform several functions:
- add information about services and exhibits;
- provide tips and recommendations which let visitors be closer to expositions;
- use the information about a person’s location to create augmented reality applications.
This approach helps not only users but also the museum. Notifications improve the marketing strategy of the museum and users get only relevant content to their smartphones.
Moreover, the indoor positioning system based on beacons around the museum exposition allows gathering analytical data about visitors, getting information on what exhibits are more interesting for guests.
Completed case for Kunstkamera from Navigine
As an example of using positioning, let’s consider the case realized by Navigine for Kunstkamera. For navigating the halls, our engineers set up 93 beacons that position visitors to within one meter. The beacons define the visitor’s approach to the exhibit or display window and transmit him the corresponding track of the audio guide. The mobile service is completely integrated into the Kunstkamera’s database, so the staff can change the information about exhibits in a convenient way for them.
If you are thinking about organizing your own “museum of future”, Navigine will provide you with complex solutions in indoor navigation. With our help your museum space will be turned into a modern technological platform with high information value and convenience for visitors.