Beacons are widely popular in the Retail sector and various big retail business taking an interest in a Location-based proximity technology by installing BLE beacons in their marketing strategy to ease their customer experience of shopping.
So, today we know from this article how ibeacon based mobile app works for the museums and how location-based BLE beacon technology can be used in the museums for extraordinary experience to the visitors.
First, a brief intro about what is Beacon technology & how they classify into two protocols ibeacons & Eddystone?
Beacon is a BLE device which is called Bluetooth low energy device. Low energy consumption means extreme low energy & powered by button-like cells. General Beacon devices run for a longer period of time from 6 months to a year. Beacon further classified into two types of beacons, One is founded by the Apple which is iBeacon & another one from Google i.e. Eddystone.
More details about the difference between both types of beacons you can find here What are the key distinctions between iBeacon & Eddystone beacons?
In a digital world, more n more peoples inclined towards using mobile devices like smartphones, tablets for most of the life work & they keep increasing on. It’s a world where every person carries at least a smartphone device with them. Recently, Due to the reason of the usage of smartphones, beacon technology gain interest in the Museums. Through a beacon device, museums can easily scale the visitor experience in a very innovative way. That’s why museums start adopting this technology in place of the traditional audio guided tour which is fixed & not tied up with the location of the visitor. In the traditional way, the visitor needs to walk in the museum as guided through the audio clip, not by their own wish. This pain point has been solved from the usage of BLE beacon location-based technology.
How the need for location-based information broadcasting arise for the museum?
To explain this, I have taken an example of the “San Diego Museum of Art” who adopts ibeacon based mobile app for their museum to deliver the content about the art. Their museum has about 360,000 visitors per year, 18,000 works of art with 700 to 800 works of art on display at any one time. Ibeacon based mobile app use to strategically deliver the content on visitor smartphone where lots of information is not possible to show on the wall near the art. Today the museum has been installed with around 120 beacons and the facility of the ibeacon based mobile app to provide the features to the visitors based on their location whether they are inside a museum or at their home. Visitors can obtain related videos, introductions to artists and other objects in the museum related to given art based on their location at a given point of time. The app also showcases a gallery of images, for example, showing how the art has changed, through conservation, over time. A visitor can purchase museum tickets from the convenience of their own place to avoid standing in a qqueueof ticket counter & many other useful things. You see how useful is ibeacon based mobile app development for museums.
Popular Features of iBeacon based mobile app for museums?
- Broadcasting information: iBeacon mobile app used to broadcast information to museum visitors based on the proximity of the visitor in the museum. For example, Visitor will get information about the next & present lecturer as soon as he passing through the auditorium of the museum. App visitor gets information in the form of image gallery, content, audio file, history facts about any art in the museum as they come near to the art in the museum. These trigger messages show more information as compare to the information can be shown over the wall or board & easy to browse on the mobile app. Visiter can bookmark this information in a mobile app for later reading.
- Ticket Booking: Visitor can book tickets of the museum from the convenience of their own place & pay through the mobile app. They don’t need to plan a visit in advance for standing in a queue of ticket counter for purchasing the ticket. Even Visitor can do wireless check-in while entering into the museum. ibeacon device installed at the entrance gate of the museum identify the visitor and track the device id with the purchased ticket online. So visitor can easily check-in without any manual process of verification like generally have to do with the paper tickers.
- Analytics or information gathering: Museum management can gather various information through implementation of ibeacon based mobile app. They can have the following data for further improvement or marketing strategy:
- Visitors Database with their Name, Address, Age, Contact number, Family information.
- An art performance by seeing the information about visitor visitors to all the arts in the museum.
- Visitor walkability – Data provides to show how ease to drive through various places inside the museum.
- How much time a visitor spends on each art at different places.
- The total number of visitors data on days, weeks, monthly basis for further planning arrangement or optimization.
- Self-Guided Tour: We can provide a full guided tour in the app through the indoor maping of muesum through ibeacons installed at various places, Which helps a visitor to move in the museum at their own pace, spend time over arts/object at their own. Not like a traditional system of personal guide or a guided tour through an audio clip. Where both things drive the visitor to move according to them. Whereas through the implementation of ibeacon based technology for the museum, Visitor can move as per their own choice & gets photos, descriptions, histories, creator, videos, and audio about different objects.
- Listing of Map of the museum: Mobile app contains all information about the museum and provides the same to the visitor. A visitor can easily gain where the things in the museum like Food courts, Auditorium, Various art rooms, Highlight of various arts, different floor information, etc.
- Indoor Museum Navigation: Through ibeacon based mobile app for the museum we can design & implement indoor navigation facility in the app similar to google maps. Google map like satellite-based maps doesn’t work indoors. Whereas ibeacons has a very popular use case for providing the facility of indoor navigation for the museum, events, malls, parking area, etc.
- Shopping feature: In the present time, there are shops inside every museum for historical items, books, etc. We can take these shops into the mobile app for the museum and through which visitor browse through all the sellable items and make orders to buy them during their visit & while visiting around the museum.
- Push notification: Management can send various information about the latest happenings in the museum to attract more visitors to the museum & keep informed about the latest events to their regular visitors.
The conclusion by above reasoning, having an ibeacon based mobile app for museums having many advantages for the primary reason for visitor convenience & activities. They should take advantage of location-based proximity technology to grow their visitors and keep them aware through more detailed information about the art presents over in the museums.
iBeacon BLE Technology Used by Museums around the world
Sydney Art Project
Kaldor Public Art along with Australian artist Jonathan Jones created an exhibition , to share and educate about aboriginal culture. The ibeacon based mobile app developement delivered content at specific locations, with push notifications sent when visitors came within range of beacons positioned at various points on the site
The Groninger Museum
The Groninger Museum is the first museum in the Netherlands where beacons have been implemented. The technology is available in the exhibition “The Collection”, from March 29, 2014, onwards. It is used to send interactive content on artworks to visitors using the app.Visitors who do not have a compatible smartphone or tablet can rent these at the museum so that they have access to interactive media.
New Museum in 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.