Papers: What is museum mobile today?

Thursday, April 04, 2019: 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Back Bay CD

Chair: Rob Cawston

Innovation on a shoestring: testing BYOD concepts without building anything
- Natalia Hudelson, The British Museum, UK, Carlos Austin-Gonzalez, The British Museum, UK
While some museums have been implementing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies for years, the British Museum has come late to this particular trend. This paper discusses our process to identify strategic goals and draw several institutional needs together into two related pilot projects. We used streamable audio to test both visitors’ willingness to use their own devices at the museum (or elsewhere), and at the same time, gauge their interest in paid audio content without a formal audio guide rental. To explore these questions around audience behavior and intent, we released albums of audio content in five languages to iTunes and Google Play Music. We hope our journey will prove useful to colleagues at other museums on a practical level.

Awe or Empathy, Fast or Slow? Articulating impacts from contrasting mobile experiences
- Dafydd James, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Wales, Graham Davies, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, UK
Despite the opportunities that mobile technologies bring to museums, they have struggled to make an impact and draw substantial audiences. Amgueddfa Cymru—National Museum Wales has been cautious in its approach to develop experiences and has piloted two very contrasting approaches to the use of mobile technology in two geographically and contextually different museums. While both projects are very different in their outputs, their approach draws some interesting comparisons. This paper will explore how the different design approaches can lead to a more experimental culture for digital experiences, setting out lessons learned that can be of use to large and small organisations alike.

The Expanded Field of Cultural Heritage AR: Forms of Converging Temporalities in Cultural Heritage Augmented Reality Mobile apps
- Liron Efrat, University of Toronto, Canada
Today, Augmented Reality (AR) apps for museums, archives, and heritage sites enjoy increasing popularity among visitors and institutions alike. Here I examine AR cultural heritage apps in relation to one another to map their existing forms and understand them as a cultural phenomenon and mode of production. I adjust Rosalind Krauss’ scheme of the Expanded Field (1979) to map the different forms of AR apps based on the technology's temporal paradigm and discuss how my scheme can be used as a practical tool in the development of future projects. Ultimately, I propose that AR produces a temporality of convergence, in which the physical boundaries of spaces, and the well-established perception of linear history, are expanded and transformed.