Emerging Technologies for Museums

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An examination of the emerging technologies that are expected to have a large impact in the museum world during the coming five years. Looking at the 2010 and 2011 Museum Edition of the Horizon Report. I give insights into which of these technologies I think are best suited to Arkansas museums given key trends and significant challenges.

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Emerging Technologies for Museums

  1. 1. Emerging Technologies for Museums Heather Marie Wells Education Technology Coordinator Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  2. 2. Agenda• Who and what• Key trends• Significant challenges• The technologies
  3. 3. The New Media Consortium• International community of experts• Colleges, universities, museums, research centers, etc.• Mission: to help members stay at the leading edge of technology• Research, publications, conferences, and workshops
  4. 4. MIDEA• Edward and Betty Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts, founded in 2009• Meets the needs of art museums, university arts and museum education programs• Severs museum professionals through research, training, and resources regarding the application of technology in interpretation and education
  5. 5. Horizon Report
  6. 6. Key Trends• Its expected.• Rich media is a valuable.• Abundance is challenging.• Visitors want an active role.• Desire of access to collections data.• Expectations of civic/social engagement.
  7. 7. Significant Challenges• Content production is not keeping up with technology & expectations.• Need for comprehensive digital strategy.• Funding not included in operational budgets.• Decision makers not recognize the importance of technology.
  8. 8. Significant Challenges• Lack of technical infrastructure & trained staff.• Understanding the intended audience.• How to evaluate impact of technology.
  9. 9. “The future is already here – its just not very evenly distributed.”   - William Gibson (Sci-fi/Technology author)
  10. 10. The Technologies 0 - 1 years 2 - 3 years 4 - 5 years Augmented Reality Gesture Social Media2010 Location-based Computing Mobiles Services Semantic Web Digital Mobile Apps Augmented Reality2011 Preservation Tablets E-Publishing Smart Objects
  11. 11. 10 8 Augmented Reality Gesture UI Semantic Web 6Relevance Digital Preservation E-Publishing Smart Objects 4 Location Services Mobile & Tablets Social Media 2 0 2 4 6 8 10 Accessibility
  12. 12. Semantic Web• Allow meaning to be inferred from content & context and structured in a meaningful way• Conceptualized in the 1960s• Create a reconnection of context• Examples: tagging for blogs and images, "smart" ads
  13. 13. Digital Preservation • Preserving the ability to access data • Library of Alexandria • Remaining accessible in the future • DigitalPreservation.gov by Library of Congress, the Digital Preservation Coalition
  14. 14. Gesture-based Computing• Nintendo Wii (2006), iPhone (2007), Microsoft Kinect (2010), PlayStation Move (2010)• Original basic research done in the early 1960s. PDAs in the early 1990s. Plug-ins for browsers in the late 1990s.• Simulated interaction with objects• The Create a Chemical Reaction table at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
  15. 15. Smart Objects • Often non-intrusive, small object requiring no batteries, capable of holding versatile data • RFID explored in research papers in the 1940s, first true device patented in 1973; QR codes came in the 1990s • Endless possibilities for anytime you want to share or exchange data • Old Independence Regional Museum, Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Crystal Bridges
  16. 16. Augmented Reality• Blending data with what we see in the real world.• Roots in the 1960s and by the 1990s very popular for visualization, training, etc.• Way to provide additional content, bring the past back to life, interact with objects you usually cant touch• Nelson-Atkins & Beyond Planet Earth by American Natural History Museum
  17. 17. Location-based Services• Content customized to users location• GPS commercially available in the 80s, but took off in 2000 when the military opened the accuracy• Extend physical reach, connect people, advertising/marketing• Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources, and American Museum of Natural History
  18. 18. E-Publishing • Publishing in digital formats • Project Gutenburg started in 1971, CD- ROMs in the 1980s, and the .epub format in 2007. • Repurpose existing content, inexpensive, various distribution outlets • Crystal Bridges
  19. 19. Social Media• Engaging groups of people to interact with each other and with, about, and through media• Does anyone remember listservs and discussion forms?• Inexpensive, not time consuming, and used for a variety of aspects• Shiloh Museum of Ozark, Museum of Discovery, and Clinton Library
  20. 20. Mobiles and Apps • Connected to the Internet • Cellphones became commercial in the 1980s • In the pocket of every user • Old State House, AAM, University of Virginia Art Museum
  21. 21. Tablets• Less disruptive and bigger screen• Portable laptop systems came in 1980s, but concept came about in 1960s• Connected or not, good for group work• Crystal Bridges, MoMA AB EX NY, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  22. 22. The Technologies 0 - 1 years 2 - 3 years 4 - 5 years Augmented Reality Gesture Social Media2010 Location-based Computing Mobiles Services Semantic Web Digital Mobile Apps Augmented Reality2011 Preservation Tablets E-Publishing Smart Objects
  23. 23. Take Aways• Make your content portable• Start simple• Start with something inexpensive• Dont try to do everything• Consider partnerships and third parties
  24. 24. Thank You for Coming Heather Marie Wells Education Technology Coordinator Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art HeatherMarie.Wells@CrystalBridges.org
  25. 25. Image Credits • Johnson, L., Witchey, H., Smith, R., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2010). The 2010 Horizon Report: Museum Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Cover photograph by Mike Baird. Creative Commons Attribution License. • Johnson, L., Witchey, H., and Adams, S., (2011). The NMC Horizon Report: 2011 Museum Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Cover photograph © wxin/123RF. Creative Commons. • William Gibson photograph by Gonzo Bonzo, March 2008. • Semantic web photograph by Opte Project, November 2003. www.opte.org • The Course of Empire Destruction from Wikimedia Commons. • "John Underkoffler points to the future of UI," TEDTalk, February 2010. Full talk available at TED.com • Augmented Reality at Museu de Mataro by Kippelboy, April 2012

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