March 24, 2015 – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and Acoustiguide have worked together to create a multimedia-focused interactive museum experience with a comprehensive location-aware mobile app. The app integrates low energy Bluetooth (BLE) iBeacon-compatible beacons to deliver accessible content to all visitors regardless of physical challenges
The CMHR is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, such as immersive or interactive exhibitions and location-based apps, the CMHR creates inspiring encounters with human rights for all ages in a visitor experience unlike any other. The CMHR is the first new Canadian national museum to be built in nearly half a century and the first established outside the National Capital Region.
“We knew we needed an industry leader to realize our vision for a truly inclusive experience, where visitors of all abilities could easily experience everything our museum has to offer,” said Scott Gillam, CMHR Manager of Digital Platforms. “We reviewed Acoustiguide’s work for the Guggenheim and the Louvre, so we knew they’d be able to work at exceptionally high levels to combine location-based technology with an engaging user experience. With their help, our desire to be fully accessible became a driver for innovation, creating an amazing self-guided visitor experience for everyone.”
Acoustiguide creates site-specific custom apps and content for museums, historic sites, visitor’s centers, companies, and more. They provide branded proprietary hardware as well as turnkey solutions for commercially available portable devices. For CMHR, Acoustiguide also produced the audio tour in English and French and is working on a visual description tour for the sight-impaired.
“This is the most complicated project we’ve ever done. The app knows exactly where visitors are at all times, custom-tailoring their experiences in real time,” said Jeff Hunt, creative director of Acoustiguide. “The volume of R&D that went into this project is hidden by the sheer simplicity of the final product.”
The CMHR is the first site in Canada to use iBeacons, and one of the world’s largest installations of this technology in a cultural institution, with more than 120+ units. The Acoustiguide-created app’s real-time “near me” identification location system interacts with the beacons to give museum visitors quick access to the nearest exhibits as well as supplementary content from universal access points (UAP). Mobile devices generally don’t have enough storage room for the breadth of UAP content the museum offers, so the Acoustiguide team integrated technology into the app that can automatically “pull” the information directly from the museum’s exhibition management systems.
A high proportion or the museum’s content is delivered digitally, so Acoustiguide worked with CMHR to extend the museum's internal Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS), allowing the museum to not only create and maintain tour content on its own but also to ensure those updates would be distributed and synchronized to both the museum's in-house rental iPods as well as visitors’ own devices via Acoustiguide's content distribution platform.
The app also includes interactive mood meters, augmented reality, panoramic images, sign language videos, complete transcripts of all audio, and an interactive keypad. It features images, audio and text about each gallery, as well as accessibility to the museum’s multimedia collection beyond what is on display, such as versions with closed captioning or sign language.
Acoustiguide provides the leading audio and multimedia presentation systems to hundreds of installations worldwide, creating content, software, and customized apps, delivered on its proprietary guiding technologies or via tablets and mobile devices. All content and apps are custom designed for each site, and the hardware can be branded. www.acoustiguide.com