How Museums can use Beacons to Enhance Visitor Experiences
June 20, 2014
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are providing new challenges for mobile app developers and businesses. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be taking a look at how various industry verticals such as retail, tourism, etc can use beacon technology to enhance visitor experiences.
These tiny devices have been talked about so much that the year 2014 is being touted as the “Year of the beacons”.Though the first few beacon applications are largely related to retail, beacon applications are soon becoming more sophisticated with the ability to improve business processes, reduce costs, and even drive more revenue.
In this post, we will discuss in detail about how beacons can revolutionize the experience museums offer. According to experts, museums will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this new technology to communicate and engage with people.
How museums can put beacons to use:
a) Contextual information: Beacons can be used to trigger proximity-based, hyper-targeted updates to visitors as they move around the museum. For instance, a museum’s app can alert visitors to an upcoming lecture as they pass by the auditorium.
b) Analytics: Beacons can be used for gathering data to gain insights on visitor behaviour and use it to improve exhibit locations and museum layouts to enhance the overall visitor experience.
c) Venue check-in (entry tickets): By placing beacons at entryways, museums can get rid of manual entry tickets altogether.
To know about the other implementations of beacons in Museums, read the full blog here.
Real-life examples of beacon implementation in museums:
The Neon Muzeum, Poland
The Neon Muzeum, and grounds of the Soho Factory where it is located, is home to more than 70 neon signs, over 700 letterforms, archival materials such as blueprints and old photographs.
Image courtesy: Synappse.pl
Rubens Art Museum, Antwerp
Image courtesy: Prophets.be
This is the most popular beacon implementation in a museum so far.
Groninger Museum, Groningen
The Groninger Museum is the first museum in the Netherlands where beacons have been implemented. The technology is available at the exhibition “The Collection”, from March 29, 2014 onwards.
Image courtesy: One More Thing
New Museum, New York City
For the UN’s International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on April 4th, New Museum in New York City hosted an exhibit that used iBeacons to simulate a virtual minefield and let anyone experience the danger of landmines.
Image Courtesy: Appleinsider.com
National Slate Museum, North Wales
Wales’ National Slate Museum in Snowdonia was the first national museum in the world to install beacons, that enable visitors to discover more about collections as they walk around a site.
Image courtesy: Mobisfera.com
Thus, with beacons, users regain a sense of place, allowing them to feel more engaged and more attached to the physical space.