Bring on museum companion apps — but only if they’re absolutely awesome

Category: Technology

This article reviews a number of newer mobile apps in museums and the author’s experiences in using them. The text provides more in-depth description of apps hosted by the Cooper-Hewitt and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as some useful discussion about apps and user-experience. The article includes an interesting discussion with Loic Tallon, Digital Director at the Met.

“For me, someone looking at their phone screens to get the information vs. the label, there isn’t a huge amount of difference,” Tallon said. “For me, the greatest challenge is actually the more global societal challenge which we currently face: that people’s attention is being dramatically reduced by these technologies. How we use phones is dramatically changing how our brains work. And that’s where I see the impact of these technologies, on people’s ability to stand in front of an artwork and spend more time with it.”

-Loic Tallon, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

On a weekday afternoon in the Greek and Roman sculpture hall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was, to my surprise, the only visitor on my phone. The long gallery was fairly empty, but it was oddly devoid of the usual selfie-takers and Instagram story posters.

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