Museum Smart Phone Apps

Daniel Grant has a short article in Baron's about the development of smartphone applications for museums. As technology quickly expands from computers to smartphones, the advances and ease of programming is getting a firm footing into our cultural infrastructure.  As noted in the article, the smartphone applications allows for more two way connections and the ability to promote exhibitions directly to interested parties.

This type of connection, be it for museums, or for retail stores is now forming the backbone for the commercialization of social media.

Grant reports

It's just one of a parade of new apps from America's museums—some artful, some not. The best of the bunch go well beyond the traditional information in brochures. If a painting at the Museum of Modern Art happens to catch your eye, just click on the MoMA App, punch in the artwork's registry number and hear a discussion of the piece and the artist. The app of the Brooklyn Museum in New York invites you to create your own online exhibition, drawing on the museum's collections. Who knew: You are one awesome curator!

For the museums, there's "a lot of potential for two-way information," says Elizabeth Merritt, director of the Center for the Future of Museums at the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of Museums. That is, while the user learns about a particular museum, the museum also gets to learn about the user. For instance, someone who tuned in for a discussion of a Matisse painting is likely to want to be notified of any upcoming exhibitions of the artist's work or lectures on Matisse or even receive discounts on items in the museum store.

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