Fwd: [MCN-L] Mobile for Museums report

James William Yoon james.yoon at utoronto.ca
Mon Sep 21 20:07:02 UTC 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sheila Brennan <sbrennan at gmu.edu>
Date: Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 11:38 AM
Subject: [MCN-L] Mobile for Museums report
To: mcn-l at mcn.edu

Hi Folks,

CHNM Labs recently published a new report, Mobile for Museums, that includes
an assessment of the field, development recommendations, and 3 replicable
prototypes. Everything is accessible here:
http://chnm.gmu.edu/labs/mobile-for-museums/ and below is the announcement.

In the Resources section, you will find links to the Museums and Mobile
Adoption survey results that some of you participated in earlier this year.
Thank you to everyone who participated and offered suggestions along the

Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or comments about the

Best wishes,

Sheila A. Brennan
Senior Digital History Associate
Center for History and New Media
George Mason University
sbrennan at gmu.edu

CHNM Labs Report on Mobile Usage in Museums

CHNM Labs released a new research report today, Mobile for Museums
http://chnm.gmu.edu/labs/mobile-for-museums/. Funded by the Samuel H. Kress
Foundation, the report assesses how art museums are incorporating mobile
technologies into visitor experiences and offers replicable mobile
prototypes based on those findings.

A survey of the field shows that for many years art museums have been at the
forefront of offering their visitors learning experiences that extend beyond
traditional exhibit labels. That trend continues as art museums add cell
phone tours, podcasts, and platform-specific applications in an effort to
capitalize on the commonly-owned portable devices-iPods, MP3 players,
Blackberries, cell phones-that visitors already carry in their pockets.

CHNM found that while all genres of museums are very interested in offering
content and unique experiences using mobiles, their biggest challenge is
working with small budgets and a small staff, limiting their ability to
develop content for mobiles.

To address these needs, Mobile for Museums offers recommendations and free,
replicable prototypes based on this research on how to economically provide
mobile users with positive experiences in and outside a museum.

These prototypes include:

. New plugins for the Omeka http://omeka.org software package allowing
institutions to use already-created collections content and re-purpose it
with plugins for use inside the gallery, including: Send to Mobile, Bar
Codes, and Social Bookmarking.

. Website design optimized for cross-platform mobile browsers that is
accessible by a variety of mobile and smart phones, for possible use outside
of the gallery.

. A cross-platform application built in PhoneGap that harnesses the
functionality native to a mobile device.

These examples are simply proofs of concept, but we hope that by making them
and the code available http://code.google.com/p/art-in-the-city/ we will
provide the museum community with some fresh possibilities for mobile

Finally, the report site includes a dynamic Resources section
http://chnm.gmu.edu/labs/mobile-for-museums/resources/, with a Yahoo Pipe of
feeds from museum-related websites discussing mobile topics. A public Zotero
group offers a growing, annotated bibliography of current resources, and is
open for all to join and to contribute other research in the field:

CHNM encourages collaboration and discussion of our findings and prototypes,
through commenting directly on the site. We hope that this research and
development will encourage more institutions to share their development and
experiments with the greater museum community.

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