Elephants, Rhinos and Fine Art

My dreams are filled with digital museum experiences. Easy, intuitive access to art. Inspiring and creative interactions with art, ideas and people that transform me. And entering from stage left, a herd of rhinos. Pink elephants emerge stage right. Rhinos and elephants and art? Yes! Rhinos and elephants and art! You see, the ever so talented Peter Samis is sharing his passion for interactive multimedia experiences and art through a grand open source project named The Pachyderm Project.

Art 2.0: Playground for the Mind

Just last week, I had the honor of visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) to discuss the future of technology in museums. This museum is boldly discovering ways to engage their visitors while opening the vault of curator knowledge for public access. From the XRoom to the handheld museum guide with wireless location sensing, I’m blown away by what they’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.

Touching Art

Have you ever heard of an art exhibit where you are allowed to use your hands as much as your eyes? My recent trek to see Shade: Art Beyond Sight elevated the sense of touch above vision, and was specifically designed from an “eyes closed” perspective. Tactile drawings, touchable objects, braille labels and audio descriptions created a multi-sensory experience.

X Marks the Spot

What options are available to provide location specific information to visitors in museums? And how do these options compare? If you had to make a decision today, what technology would you choose? Well, it would depend on your objective and your budget.

As I’ve pondered these questions, I’ve come up with a list of what I consider to be the viable location sensing options today. This topic must be revisted at least once a year (preferably every 6 months) as the technology is changing quickly.

Is bigger better?

There is a new choice in mobile computing for the museum market. Adocere has developed a mid-size mobile device called the Weblet. It is a delicious cross between a tablet and a PDA. The 8.5″ screen certainly had my designer drooling. My response?