Innovation That Matters

Art museum app enables patrons to follow visitor-created tours

Publishing & Media

The Cleveland Museum of Art has launched its Artlens app, which can be used by patrons to create and share their own path through the collection.

The German-based Kunstmatrix has already utilized technology to enable people to curate their own virtual art galleries. Hoping to give visitors their own platform for curation, the Cleveland Museum of Art has launched its Artlens app, which can be used by patrons to offer their own suggested path through the collection. Those heading to the museum can download the iPad app for free, which uses indoor navigation technology to tell them which artworks are nearby and plan their tour around the building. If the Artlens iris logo is present next to an artwork, visitors can access audio and video content related to specific parts of the piece by holding up their iPad and scanning it, which overlays information using augmented reality. Users can also mark their favorite works and share them to Facebook and Twitter. For guests who don’t own an iPad, a USD 5 rental service is available to open up access to Artlens to everyone. This information can then be used to create their own tour of the art gallery and upload it to the Cleveland’s collection. Future visitors can then select either expert or customer-curated guides from a 40-foot multi-touch screen located in Gallery One. Users can also search the 3,500 items in the archive by theme, materials and date and 16 people can interact with the screen at the same time. The Artlens scheme helps visitors learn more about the works they are looking at, while enabling them to share their thoughts and ideas with other visitors. The Museum also benefits by learning more about how guests engage with the collection. Could this kind of interactivity hint at the future of museum and public learning spaces?




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