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Tuesday, December 3 • 2:45pm - 3:00pm
Working in Beta - Implications for Museums and their Visitors

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As the inclusion of New Media is fast becoming an established component of the exhibition development process, a stark division is becoming apparent between a small number of big, often national, museums with the capacity to maintain in-house digital media departments, and the vast majority of museums which must outsource digital technology projects. The University of Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum is exploring new, low-budget ways in which smaller museums can develop digital installations in-house. The museum’s collaborative research programs and technical partners from European universities have created opportunities to test and evaluate developing technologies. This paper covers two such technologies: an Augmented Reality (AR) iPad application and Leap Motion technology.  Both were implemented in a new Ancient Egypt exhibition in July 2013. The AR software gives museums unprecedented access to content creation and implementation without requiring specialized knowledge or outsourcing by providing an internet-based template. Sensor-based Leap Motion technology was used by the Allard Pierson Museum as a low-cost tool for offering visitors digital interactions with physical objects. In both cases, the museum is working with beta versions of the software and remains in constant dialogue with the developers to fix problems and deliver feedback, also after the installations were released to the public. This paper compares the overall effectiveness of both technologies, examining the benefits and consequences of working with beta technology for smaller museums. In order to better understand the impact of this way of working, we identified two areas of research. First, we evaluated the ease of use of the two technologies for the museum itself, including limitations, and the potential for other museums and future use. Second, we analyzed visitor responses to and experiences with the new technologies. Our observations were supplemented with visitor interviews and evaluation forms in order to obtain quantifiable feedback.

avatar for Lauren Davis

Lauren Davis

PhD Student and Researcher, Koc University
Lauren Davis is a Ph.D. student at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey and currently interns at the Smithsonian Institute’s Freer|Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C. Her background is in archaeology, and she has participated in archaeological excavations in America, Turkey, and... Read More →

Christie Ray

Christie A. Ray is a PhD researcher with the V-MusT.net project at the University of Amsterdam, focusing on evaluating the user experience of New Media applications within the museum context. As part of her work with V-MusT.net, she helped establish the NewMediaLab, integrated into... Read More →
avatar for Merel van der Vaart

Merel van der Vaart

Merel van der Vaart is a PhD Researcher with the Allard Pierson Museum, part of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her research focusses on the user experience & usability of digital media in museums, with an emphasis on visitor engagement and social interaction. She previously... Read More →

Tuesday December 3, 2013 2:45pm - 3:00pm PST
Hilton Stockholm Slussen Hotel, Apollon Guldgränd 8 Box 15270, Stockholm, 10465, Sweden

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