Friday, 13 June 2014

MUSEUM INNOVATIONS: FIVE AWESOME MUSEUM APPS THAT YOU HAVE TO TRY

BY: JAIME CLIFTON-ROSS


As part of a special exhibition, this delightful mobile app explores the biology paintings of Harriet and Helena Scott. They were known as colonial Sydney's most famous female natural history artists, naturalists, and collectors. This app contains various features including: images of paintings with a high-resolution zoom-in feature; videos that document the development of the exhibition; biographical information; a timed puzzle that challenges users to match cut-out butterfly illustrations with hollow outlines. This app is simple, user friendly, and facilitates a more intimate and engaging experience with illustrations on display.

Download it here.

Screenshot of Art of Science, Australian Museum
Screenshot of Art of Science 

from The MoMA collections

There’s no denying that Björk is an incredibly talented musician and performance artist. Through elaborate costumes and a distinct musical style, she continues to innovate through experimental music and art. As the first musician to release an album through a mobile app (2011), she has transformed and adapted with the passage of time. While this was released a couple of years ago, The Modern Museum of Art recently inducted this album app into their permanent collections. You can enjoy her avant garde melodies through games and interactives. 

Download it here.

iTunes App Introduction

3. STARRY NIGHT INTERACTIVE ANIMATION (Yes, I know I’ve already featured this on the blog and it wasn't technically developed by a museum, but it’s just so cool!)

This mobile app essentially animates Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic Starry Night painting. By moving your fingers along the painting, colourful brushstrokes begin to swirl about as if being gently pushed by the wind. This user-controlled movement also initiates soothing melodic chimes. You will be absolutely mesmerized!

Download it here.
Demonstration


This stunning app displays black and white images of 19th and early 20th century London, based on a pre-set map of the city. Using augmented reality technology, it essentially identifies your location through your wifi and overlays historic images of your locale using the camera view of your smartphone. Users are basically transported back in time to witness the haunting transformation of the city. 

Demonstration

This app features several standard museum app elements including: images of artworks with a high-resolution zoom-in feature and contextual information; audio guides for kids; general museum information (i.e. events, hours of operation, maps, etc.). I first encountered this app in Washington, DC during our school trip. We were lucky enough to participate in a Google Hangout—hosted by Nancy Proctor—that examined museums and mobile technology. While many museums have developed similar apps, Your Art perfectly complimented my museum visit through its vibrant, informative, engaging, and user-friendly design.   

Download it here.

Your Art Mobile App, National Gallery of Art
http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/visit/tours-and-guides/mobile-app/jcr%3Acontent/parmain/image.img.jpg/1385653239748.jpg

1 comment:

  1. Love this overview of some fantastic and innovative apps (so long, Angry Birds!). Thanks for sharing, Jaime. From your perspective in the digital museum world, do you think that smaller museums/institutions will be able to jump on this trend as well? I noticed that the apps featured are mainly produced by larger institutions -- no surprise there, given that they would have greater resources for communications/tech/etc.

    But now that there are more opportunities for DIY tech (I'm thinking-- more user-friendly software, learning opportunities like the Ladies Learning Code workshop you attended), do you think smaller museums have a chance in this playing field? Or are high-tech (and super awesome) apps really reserved for those who have the capacity to hire/outsource skilled developers?

    Either way, I'm enjoying the accessibility of these apps for now. Excuse me while I listen to some soothing melodic chimes while moving around Starry Night!

    ReplyDelete