@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
  • Bridging the Gap for New Technology in Museums

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    May 24th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    IMG_0448On May 19th I hosted the New Technology stream at Museums and Heritage Show. The stream was hosted by Collider Case (which is amazing btw!) and consisted of a variety of great speakers (of course!) from Belfast, England and Paris sharing their experience with new technology that the sector could/should know about :

    Museums and bus stops: breaking down barriers
    Something new and different is happening in Paris – people waiting at bus stops are getting free wifi to play games about the museums local to that stop. CuturO’Game is successfully hooking visitors in with collections-related games, opening up new worlds to new audiences. Find out how it’s working and how you can use this tech to support and promote your own museum. – Aube Lebel, CEO, Clicmuse, Engage with Culture

    IMG_047221st century interpretation in a 19th century museum
    The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge offers one of the finest art and artefacts collections in the UK. As part of their bicentenary celebrations they commissioned a new digital guide, with Acoustiguide, to help visitors explore the museum. We will explore the challenges and successes of this exciting project. – Julie Dawson, Head of Conservation, The Fitzwilliam Museum and Caitlin Bain, Sales; Marketing Manager and Louisa Matthews, Managing Director, Acoustiguide

    IMG_0466Scaleable Tech
    Many of the challenges of adopting and piloting new technology apply to museums of all sizes. Finding the balance between new, interesting and innovative against solid, reliable and dependable technology can be difficult and potentially risky. How can we test and evaluate new products and services without compromising on the quality of experience we deliver to our visitors. – Will Robinson, Creative Technologist, British Museum and Catherine Jones, New Media Engineer, Science Museum

    Capturing human experience
    The National Holocaust Centre and Bright White Ltd share their incredibly ambitious project – to enable future audiences to interact with Holocaust survivors of today. Using cutting edge hardware and software development, the project safeguards the question and answer interaction forever. How can the technology be applied to your project or museum? – Sarah Coward, Deputy CEO, The National Holocaust Centre and Chris Walker, Lead Designer, Bright White Ltd

    IMG_0474The Lost Palace: from prototypes to visitor experience
    GPS beating hearts, Shakespearean binaural sound and conspiratorial magic tricks… last year we heard how Historic Royal Palaces had encountered completely new approaches to historical storytelling by working in new ways with new people. This year, Tim Powell, Digital Producer at HRP, will share what they learned from these open calls and prototype development – and how they are developing these experimental ideas into a family-friendly visitor offer for Banqueting House in 2016. – Tim Powell, Digital Producer, Creative Programming and Interpretation, Historic Royal Palaces

    Emotions are at the heart of understanding your audience
    From the devices in your pockets to the devices on your body, from measuring self to measuring the space around you, understanding audience journeys and where they emotional engage is going to become key to creative decisions and venue conceptualisation. – Gawain Morrison, CEO, Sensum

    IMG_0494What’s the deal with Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things?
    Augmented Reality is transitioning to markerless experiences, defying the restrictions of stationary images and traditional AR tracking images. Current implementations of markerless AR use sensors in devices to accurately detect the real-world environment and allow visitors experiences that couldn’t be possible before. This presentation will showcase live demo about this breakthrough technology. Steve will discuss ways in which you can harness the power of the Internet of Things to benefit your own organisation. – David Lerman, Guidigo; Steve Morgan, Global IoT Architect, Fujitsu and Mar Dixon, @MarDixon

    As someone who loves new technology, I’m always reading articles and reports about the newest and latest thing. I’m also lucky enough to work with some of the companies working on new technologies so am used to seeing things come and go. The good part is many of the companies are just testing and trying this out without committing to a full product (I’m usually in with the prototype stage). The bad thing is the sector seems to feel things going away is a bad omen – looking past the fact that the research goes to create a better product.

    This got me thinking – why are museums so scared of new technology and what can we do to bridge the gap that is growing larger each week when new technology comes up and museums put up their hand saying ‘that’s not for me!’?

    I started talking to Sacha Tueni whom I met on a project with Guidigo and Tango. When we first met, he was showing me the amazing picture he took from the roof in Barcelona with a 360 camera while we were there for Mobile World Congress. As this is a new technology that the sector should be looking into, I asked him about different cameras. The conversation soon moved to VR and the infusion of 360 VR experiences and how relatively inexpensive it is to create/build.

    What? How?

    Soon the links were being shared:

    Then I asked: how can we convince the sector (museums, theatre, even publishing) to think of this era as research and development? What can we do to embrace the technology the public (eg everyone) is using or wants to use with the mission of the museum? Lets be honest, we want an experience whatever or wherever we go – be it the movies, an amusement park, or even a shopping mall. Same when we visit a museum or art gallery (or national park, national trust etc etc).

    “VR is a technology that is just perfect for museums. It offers the opportunity to create thoroughly immersive 360-degree experiences for adults and children alike out of nothing more than light and sound, taking passive viewers and putting them right in the middle of the action. And it does all this without the need to devote the physical space (not to mention resources) to building and maintaining fixed installations.” – Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    What are your thoughts? What can we do to bridge the gap? Or are their examples I’m missing that we should be talking about?

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