Mobile Apps : Natural History Museum and Museum of Jewish Heritage
This weekend I went to a Natural History Museum and Museum of Jewish Heritage with Melanie , Amy and Corie. It was a great trip with lots of adventures but it took us two days instead of one as we were planning.
First of all I would say that using Mobile Applications seems a really new technology source because not a lot of people around us were using it in any of the Museums. Actually to be more precise I have not seen other people using it except us that made us look like technology friendly people:) which was pretty nice I have to say.
Natural History Museum had an incredible collection of course and we tried to see all the best of it but unlike most of the people instead of walking and reading the information tabs we did the tour with help of Mobile Apps. The collection included various incredible exhibitions starting form The World’s Largest Dinosaurs ending with Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies and so.on. When we got to the service desk it took us some time to figure out about accessing the service usually at an information desk they ask you to leave a credit card as an insurance just in case something happens to the phone but they do not charge you for any money so in couple of minutes all four of us were equipped with Ipodes and we were ready to go. We started our visit with a second floor and after a while I got accustomed to use the phone as a digital ” Tour Gide”. I loved it, it was a really great experience. The mobile App gave me every detailed information about objects of a collection with pictures and short descriptions with dates and all the history information. Although there was some exceptions like African Art Collection and Indian Collection department. Unfortunately I could find a very few information on my device about this two collections department and in some cases it would just provide a text about just one or two objects of a collection. What I liked about the menu a lot was that it had several internet service functions. It could actually be connected to an internet right away. Connection list included facebook, Twitter and various social websites and it was possible to send and share pictures or text information about collection’s objects. Also my favorite was a service that enabled to collect selected pictures with text by bookmarking them and then by just one click sending them to my mail.
Although as long as it was fun and comfortable at one point it had some flaws because I suppose it is still a new approach to use mobiles in a Museum setting and it still is not perfect as a technology service. I wanted to send some bookmarks on my mail and when I pushed the bookmark and send button it took me to a different application which was something about choosing my mail account service form a list of different mail companies like AOL , Yahoo Gmail and so. on. But the problem was that I could not cancel the service and it just blocked the hole page and I could not use the mobile menu anymore. But luckily it was the end of our tour time so I had an advantage of using it anyway. I guess the system still needs to be worked at because it sometimes fails to accomplish the task. Also like Melanie mentioned it doesn’t have all the information on it about exhibition Items and Objects.
Now about the Jewish Museum of Heritage. It was my first time to visit this Museum and I enjoyed it very much. The Museum had a wonderful exhibition called the ” Voices of Liberty ” that was a diverse interviews of Holocaust survivors, refugees, and others who chose to make the US their home and emigrated here long time ago. The Ipodes use here was focused on just Audio tour. The Ipodes were handed along with a set of headphones and it was very easy to use since with just one click you could listen to a recording while entering the room. The exhibition took place in one large room surrounded with huge glass walls and you could see an excellent view of Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island landscape.
I think the experience of Mobiles in a Museum is really great because it can provide you with digital information recourse very quickly and also it is possible to stay connected with internet. As a new multimedia tours with their diverse voices and interactive functions Mobiles are one way that museums are literally passing control into the visitors’ hands. I mean providing a greater potential of connections that enable the visitor to select and categorize. A result of emerging technologies in the mobile industry, mobile experiences in museums today implements the newer multimedia tour as a variety of mobile applications that go further than the traditional tour model.