13 mayo 2013

Museums in the digital age

Museums in the digital ageAlthough we may all more or less agree that the Internet has radically changed the way in which people look for and find all kinds of cultural and leisure contents, do we really believe that museums, cultural institutions and art galleries can offer the same experience on visiting an exhibition or collection in the 21st century without embracing any kind of change?

Museums, cultural institutions and art galleries can’t afford to remain aloof to this change, which is directly affecting the consumption of cultural products and is consequently influencing our access to art and culture from any perspective. Neither can they deny spectators’ demands for interactive experiences, which are not always met in practice through the use of games.

The main purpose of this study is to analyze how museums, cultural institutions and art galleries may benefit from the latest technology on the Web and on the market, as well as that offered by recently created technology companies, better known as start-ups, with a view to improving their services within gallery spaces, with virtual material and content, with a view to enriching the visitor experience.

The impact of third generation technology in the cultural sector –  such as facial recognition systems, smart sensors, real satisfaction recommender systems, interactive applications for mobile devices – among other novelties – offer cultural institutions an amazing choice of opportunities to enhance the visitor experience at an exhibition, among other experiences that may be offered by a museum, cultural centre or art gallery.

Before, during and after

Contrary to previous studies by Dosdoce.com, where we analyzed whether or not a given cultural institution was present on a social network and subsequently provided a series of recommendations to improve its presence on those networks, this time we preferred to analyze the degree to which all kinds of technologies are used during the three stages in which a citizen may experience direct contact with a cultural institution:

  • before the visit (discovery stage)
  • during the visit (direct experience stage)
  • after the visit (stage at which the experience is shared)

The results of this last study have revealed a highly intensive use of technology during the discovery stage (mainly focused on promotional activities in social networks and the development of applications for smart devices); a diminished use of tools during the visit to the physical installations of the corresponding institutions (mainly focused on the use of certain technologies for the purpose of enriching the visit); and lastly, a low use of technologies to encourage the exchange of experiences after the visit.

Cultural institutions and technology companies in the digital age need to work together more closely with a view to benefiting from the opportunities offered by tools such as mobile applications, QR codes, gamification, touch-screens, sensory technology, geolocation or augmented reality, among others, to develop new services for the purpose of enriching discovery processes at museums as well as promoting a connection among visitors.

Dosdoce.com was launched in March 2004 for the purpose of analyzing the use of new technologies in the cultural sector and publishes annual studies related to trends in the creative industries.

This study has been published under a Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative license”; the work may be copied and distributed by any other means provided that its authorship (Dosdoce.com) is credited, it is not used for commercial purposes and is not amended in any way. The full license may be viewed at: http://es.creativecommons.org/

The image on the cover belongs to the artist Fernando Martín Godoy.

Note: To download full report please click in this link: “Museums in the digital age“.

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