What you might do next?
I’m definitely thinking this would work great for a temporary exhibition perhaps in somewhere like a community gallery where the content is being regularly changed.
Personally, I would have clear WiFi logins at the beginning of the exhibition. If they are password protected – then share the WiFi password as a QR code and with NFC. It can just make things that bit faster.
It might help to have a link up somewhere to the welcome page of your tour – again you can double up and have this as an NFC card and QR code.
After that it could be as little as just putting 2 or 3 digit numbers next to your objects. You can decide if you’d like the full belt & braces of web address, NFC, QR code alongside it.
If you’re printing a guide – there’s no reason not to include the trigger ids with it. It would help those who might not be able to visit or move around the gallery easily to still enjoy your objects.
- Maybe you just want to use pieces of music that you think compliment the object.
- It’s pretty much a basic rule that ‘People are interested in People’. So, having a bunch of different people talk about a bunch of different objects and why is it speaks to them is nearly always a success.
Game like puzzles?
- You can think of each id as a page in a book. So id 37 is just page 37. You could use this to build a simple choose your own adventure? If you want to enter the cave turn to page 37.
- You can even create puzzles where the answer is a 3-digit code. Head over to my escape game tutorial for some more ideas. You can put all the questions in the low numbers (less than 100) and then just ensure that your puzzle answers are in the range 100-999. Sure people can manually go through each number in turn – but they can do that with a real padlock as well.
(I’ll probably add an option to hide the complete list of content – as it’s actually a hindrance in these kind of experiences.)
Where next from me?
I’m generally drawn to the more advanced ideas. The more obvious things have been done before and so I’m less excited about them. And often they are not any less work!
There’s a bunch of more obvious stuff:
- Metrics – what do visitors gravitate to, how long to they spend looking at things etc. I’m afraid this doesn’t hugely excite me. Many because the work is fairly invisible and even then, it’s only worth doing if we’re going to act on it.
- Favouriting objects – users make lists of the favourite objects to take home with them. Perhaps emailed later on. Again part of the complete journey.
- Colour tweaking – while I’m not suggesting that you are able to change any of the underlying structure / formatting – being able to set a few of the main colours might be enough to align the app with the colour scheme of your museum or exhibition.
- Move the NFC card writing into the app itself. Chrome on Android are trialing NFC functionality in-browser. This means you could write the cards without going to an external app.
Should there be the option for more content types?
- A carousel of images
- Video in place of the audio / image?
- Maps handled differently?
And more advanced things:
- I’ve always been interested multi-language audio tours but given that most smaller museums don’t have the resources for that I’d be interested in seeing just how good the google translate algorithms are. It’s certainly possible to translate the description text into multiple languages and then use text to speech to automatically produce the audio.
- Machine learning algorithms in general are getting better all the time. Automatically generating descriptions / tags based on the visual content in the image. This wouldn’t be entirely automatic and would require some curator intervention.