Cleveland Museum of Art: Gallery One

On January 21, 2013, the Cleveland Museum of Art unveiled Gallery One, a new interactive gallery that blends art and cutting-edge technology to provide museum goers with a completely new experience.

Emphasizing engagement, curiosity and creativity through a dynamic interaction with the museum’s collection is enabled by the Collection Wall and Artlens, a mobile app for iPads, as well as by digital interactive works.

The Collection Wall, a 40-foot interactive MicroTile wall features works of art from the permanent collection. Being the largest multi-touch screen in the United States, it is one of the most unique and innovative aspects of Gallery One. Art objects “float by” on the wall, slowly rotating by theme and type, such as time period, materials and techniques, as well as curated views of the collection.  Visitors can interact with the Wall, viewing, exploring and selecting art objects of their interest, to build a personal tour.

iPad docked at the Collection WallThe Collection Wall includes a half-dozen docking stations for iPads, allowing visitors to download existing tours, build personalized tours of the collection or self-curate a route through the museum.

The gallery tour is designed around ArtLens, a multi-dimensional app for the Apple iPad, available free from iTunes. ArtLens’ innovative user-interface design provides indoor gallery maps, enables scanning objects in the gallery and provide visitors with extensive information about the art objects they look at.  There are nearly nine hours of educational audio and video that can be enjoyed in a personalized way.

ArtLens helps visitors locate specific artworks and navigate through tours. As soon as visitors enter the gallery,  ArtLens can show them exactly where they are and which notable objects are nearby.

The Find-me function orients visitors, helps them find works of art and the objects in their personalized tour, including on which floor they are in.

Artlens Find-me functionThe Near-you-now function enables discovering artworks in the collection and browsing along a fully personalized route. Objects of interest near the user become available for additional exploration, turning Artlens into a proximity-based recommender.

Many art museums have used interactive digital technology on websites for years. What is truly new and innovative about Gallery One is the opening up of the entire museum’s collection to exploration, the support for personal discovery, and the emphasis on visitors experiencing deeper layers of learning in a fully personalized way.  State-of-the-art technology makes it all come to life.

Behind the scenes

Gallery One blends art and technology to support visitors’ engagement with the collection. It was Accuware’s privilege to be selected as the provider of indoor location services, enabling navigation and artwork-locating throughout the museum.

Accuware’s real-time locating system, Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor  was deployed at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA): over a hundred Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor nodes were placed throughout the site to locate, in real time, the ubiquitous iPads.

Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor tracks active Wi-Fi devices including Android, iPad, iPhone,  laptops, and Wi-Fi tags with an accuracy of 2 or 3 meters, pinpointing floor and room.  Though no application is actually required on the devices tracked by Wi-Fi Location Monitor , mobile apps like Artlens can leverage Accuware’s API and be aware of the device’s position anywhere throughout the monitored area.

In addition, Accuware Wi-Fi Location Monitor will enable CMA to measure Gallery One’s success via indicators such as dwell time –i.e. how long visitors spend looking at artworks, and how long they spend looking at art versus interacting with iPad screens.

The results already speak for themselves: a seamless integration of ground-breaking applications in museum experience with Accuware’s pioneering locating technology.

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