Wednesday, August 31, 2011

QR codes, RFIDs and Goggles

Responding to the challenge of how to impart 'rich media' to visitors is gaining pace. This is all about how we can provide more than just text on a label and perhaps some video on an adjacent screen. I'm doing a quick circuit round the world to check out the latest (amongst other things. such as attending the IIC Council meeting in London).

But first up, as so often is the case in the museum technology world, our own Powerhouse Museum is trail blazing. Their newly opened 'Love Lace' exhibition is using QR codes to provide further information on each of the 120 objects in the show. You need: 1) a smartphone and 2) to download the appropriate app, and then 3) to scan the bar code on each label to access this further information. There is not a lot more information you get, but it is proving the point that this is a valid way to deliver rich media. Check out Seb Chan's blog post to read about the initial take up. And whilst you are at it, do visit the exhibition. It is a stunning collection of objects, the unifying theme being some reference to lace or the patterns thereof. It's even got a big article in the latest edition of the Qantas inflight magazine.

Two other technologies I shall be looking at. The first is the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality on some Nokia phones, which is being used to deliver rich media at the Museum of London. Nokia has funded this rollout at the Museum to help promote NFC, and I shall be most interested to see what take up is like.

The second is the Google Goggles technology that the Getty Museum is using (see my blog post), which utilises visual recognition technology to connect via your smartphone to an array of rich media.

Interesting times and I shall report back shortly.  Got to run - my flight is being called!

Julian Bickersteth
Managing Director

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