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Article - Beyond the guided visit, virtual or not, towards a made-to-measure museum

Offer to everyone the visit they look for; that is the challenge of the new technologies expended by museums all over the world, combining autonomy, interactivity and personalization.

 Increasing the number of innovations, museums come into the new technical tolls to attract new audiences or secure the loyalty of the regulars, thus hoping to fight their image of old-fashioned institutions difficult to access. Alongside the virtual visits developed by the Google Art Project and the initiative of the Louvre or the British Museum, museums now bet on “increased” reality – animation and 3D modeling, wi-fi, QR codes and other mobile applications – to offer visits of a new type.

Pursuing an attractive audience policy

These novelties are one of the answers to a major challenge : give every visitor the visit he wants, thus favoring the demand instead of an offer policy. These new technologies are only an extension of the traditional audio guides with three services : much autonomy, interactivity and personalization. In 2009, a study conducted with museums  highlighted the role of the audio guide as the source of complementary and supplementary information for the visitors (72%), the emergence of an interactive experience (50%) and the access to a different visit and voice (39%).

Far from the marked paths, towards a visit more autonomous

 The Smithsonian museum, thanks to a partnership with Google, makes available to its visitors who have a smartphone, a map and a system of localization for the 25 000 sqm of exhibition, thus allowing them to get their bearings and to be more autonomous in their visit. The application localizes the visitor, as well as the closest stairs or toilets and can calculate on demand itineraries in the museum.

The pursuit of experiences even more interactive and sensory

The CultureLabs project “Touch the sculpt”, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, is planning a really interactive experience on a copy of the bas-relief of the Cluny ring. Thanks to innovative 3D technologies, the visitor will be able to set off sound and light effects on the sculpture itself through the touch, showing increased reality.

Giving to each visitor a different visit depending on its profile, the fulfillment of an ideal ?

The Guimet museum takes a plunge in the personalization of the path : by answering to a Chinese portrait available on the mobile application and on the internet and dedicated to the exhibition “D’Asie et d’ailleurs”, the visitor can discover, depending on its  profile, the Asian culture that suits him the best and thus deduce from it the perfect itinerary.


To go further :

-        An article from Club innovation culture about the Louvre

-        An article from Cblog about the British Museum

-        An article from Club innovation culture about the Smithsonian

-        An article from Club innovation culture about the Guimet museum