A Harvard University museum has signed a deal to enhance their visitors’ experience through the commissioning of an iBeacon enabled museum app.
The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (CHSI), one of the largest university collections of its kind in the world, is collaborating with Dutch iBeacon app developers, LabWerk, to implement mApp, LabWerk’s museum app platform.
The collection, belonging to the Times Higher Education’s highest World Reputation Ranked University which boasts an impressive alumni profile of technology heavyweights like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, houses over 20 000 scientific instruments dating back more than 600 years which have been preserved, documented and presented to reflect their past roles in science teaching and research.
The implementation of a museum app is the next step CHSI is taking to continually keep up-to-date. With mApp facilitating a new content delivery method, which will be integrated into the CHSI visitor experience, exhibition developments, and teaching endeavors, the collection’s Director of Administration and Harvard Lecturer, Dr. Jean-François Gauvin, expects to see visitor and student satisfaction rates rise to a new level.
An app was something the museum had been considering for numerous years however, until mApp, the right product was not available on the market. Now that mApp and content delivery through iBeacons have proven to be successful for LabWerk clients over the past 12 months, there were no hesitations in adopting this new technology.
Michael Grasso, CHSI collaborator and student in the Museum Studies Master's program at the Harvard Extension School, said that "the advantage of the mApp platform is that it is easy for us to set up and easy for visitors to use. This allows us to concentrate on enhancing the visitor experience in our galleries through mApp's many features, and provides us with valuable data to make the visitor experience even better."
LabWerk’s mApp platform utilizes iBeacon technology to facilitate location-based content delivery. Through the use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a visitor’s mobile device can identify their location within the collection based on proximity to signal-emitting beacons. This location awareness is then utilized by the app to unlock certain pieces of content, trigger location specific notifications, or pinpoint a visitor’s position within a venue.
Development of the CHSI app has begun and will be available for download from mid-2015. For more information visit mApp.labwerk.com or chsi.harvard.edu.