Many museums may be focused on the past, but they are increasingly using the latest technology.
The Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam is filled with gorgeous historical artifacts, but it is continually using QR codes and other forms of cutting edge technology to be able to share the importance of each of those items.
The museum’s director and curator, Willem Sandberg was the first to introduce audio tours in 1952.
Although recorded audio tour technology was the very latest thing and had never before been used in the museums of 1952, the director saw the value of providing more information than printed signage would allow. Now, the same museum is using beacons, QR codes, and has even deployed 3D printers in order to enhance today’s experience for the visitor from the 21st century. By bringing today’s tech into the mix, museum visitors can receive an even more customized learning experience, discovering more about the topics that are of specific interest to them, instead of listening to a set pre-recorded machine with a single track.
The introduction of the QR codes, beacons, and 3D printers has been drawing an international spotlight.
The quick response codes can be scanned with smartphones or tablets and provide visitors with access to a broad multimedia exhibition. The focus is on works that were created by Clifford Ross. That feature brings in an additional type of technology that has also been implemented by the museum: augmented reality. This allows digital reproductions of the works to be displayed as an overlay on the real time image of reality, through the device screen.
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While it has been recognized that there is a difference between walking through a museum and seeing an actual piece in front of your face, or using a device to view a digital image of that same piece, the use of mobile technology to enhance the viewing experience for museum visitors gives people the chance to take a step closer to the artist and the work.
There has been a great deal of enthusiasm generated with regards to the QR codes and other types of technology that have opened up their use at the museum. The primary effort that is now being made is to help to make certain that it won’t turn the location into a technology of the month experience that will end up drawing the focus away from the artworks and artifacts.