The ArtLens iPad/iPhone application is a unique personal guide for museum visitors. Loaded with video, audio, text, and still-image content, ArtLens helps visitors to explore the artworks on display in the galleries and encourages visitors to create their own customized tours. Visitors can check out an iPad preloaded with ArtLens upon entry to the museum, or bring their own iPad/iPhone, and use the free application both in Gallery One and throughout the museum. The application has five main features: “Near You Now(IPad)/Galleries(IPhone),” “Tours,” “Today(iPad)/Museum(iPhone),” “Scanning,” and “Favorites(iPad)/You(iPhone)”. The ArtLens iPad experience will sense a visitor’s location in the museum and offer digital stories about the surrounding artworks.
Near You Now/Galleries: On site, the app integrates the museum’s Navizon service. This service, specifically installed for ArtLens, uses the nearest wireless access points to triangulate the device’s position. Using this indoor wayfinding technology, the visitor is alerted of nearby artworks featured on ArtLens. These “Featured Artworks” have interpretive media (including film, comparative images, text, and audio) and scanning image recognition functionality, and are featured within a tour or have related artworks associated with them for additional guided looking.
Scanning: The scanning feature incorporates the device’s camera and Qualcomm’s Vuforia image-recognition SDK to provide an augmented reality experience for users on site. When a user scans artwork marked with the ArtLens icon, the app will recognize the object and provide context-sensitive content about the work. This content is anchored within the app screen to the relevant regions of the physical artwork.
Tours: Visitors can select from both museum-curated and visitor-created thematic tours, with artwork locations specified on an interactive map that senses a visitor’s current position. Tours provide access to all interpretive media. Because the tours are directly linked to CMA’s Piction collection software, the museum can create new tours and additionally moderate visitor tours.
Today/Museum: This modular popup displays CMA’s daily schedule of events and exhibitions. The app ingests this content from the museum’s website via a RESTful web service.
Favorites: Visitors can favorite their preferred artworks to share via social media and can also create a personalized tour for other visitors to take, which will appear in both the iPad and Collection Wall.
In an unprecedented combination of technology interfaces, borrowed or visitor-owned iPads/iPhones can be docked at the Collection Wall, where visitors can save objects from the wall to the ArtLens app, creating a playlist of favorites. Visitors can author a custom tour from their list of favorites, saving their tour in ArtLens and on the Collection Wall for other visitors to discover. Through this feature, ArtLens provides an iPad experience that allows visitors to navigate throughout the museum, both physically and virtually from off site, providing far-reaching access to media-rich stories for CMA’s treasured works of art. Taken together, this suite of new interfaces transforms the visitor experience by extending the access and creative agency of each individual visitor.
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ArtLens for the iPhone has been available since 12/27/13. In addition to the functionality listed above in the IPad version, the iPhone version of the ArtLens application also includes:
Search: Quickly find favorite artworks by artist name or title that are currently on view.
Top Ten: Explore the ever-changing list of visitor-chosen favorites, as well as curators’ top picks of must-see artworks.
Gallery List: Search the entire collection on view by gallery. Select gallery button at the bottom of the “Gallery” map page.
Related Artworks: Discover the hidden treasures in the collection from any object based on its collection, time period, and material, using the dynamic recommendation logic developed for the Collection Wall in Gallery One.
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gallery One pre-opened to stakeholders on December 12, 2012 and went through a six-week testing period until its public opening on January 21, 2013. ArtLens was available through iTunes – January 5, 2013 and iPhone December 27, 2013.
The development of Gallery One and ArtLens represents a true and equal collaboration among the curatorial, information management and technology services, education and interpretation, and design departments at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The development process was guided by CMA’s chief curator and deputy director, Griff Mann-an atypical and noteworthy approach among museums in the design of interactive technology spaces. Museum educators were instrumental in curating the space and its related experiences, and IMTS staff worked closely with internal and external partners on both concept and interactive design. This collaborative organizational structure is groundbreaking, not just within the museum community, but within user-interface design in general. It elevated each department’s contribution, resulting in an unparalleled interactive experience, with technology and software that has never been used before in any venue, content interpreted in fun and approachable ways, and unprecedented design of an interactive gallery space that integrates technology into an art gallery setting. The Project team was led by the following at Cleveland Museum of Art:Jane Alexander, Director of Information Management and Technology Services(Technology/Project Manager), Caroline Goeser, Director of Education and Interpretation(Curator/Interpretation)and Jeffrey Strean, Director of Design and Architecture(Design Oversight).
The museum partnered deeply with award-winning outside consultants to realize the project. Local Projects is responsible for all media design and collaborated with the CMA team on concept design development.
Gallery One blends art, technology, and interpretation to inspire visitors to explore the museum’s permanent collection. Offering something for everyone, the gallery features the largest multi-touch microtile screen in the United States, which displays images of over 3,500 objects from the museum’s world-renowned permanent collection. Gallery One has been heralded as a revolutionary space in the world of museums by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Mashable.com and The Plain Dealer, among others.
The Cleveland Museum of Art Team:
Chief Curator and Deputy Director – Griff Mann
Education and Interpretation – (Caroline Goeser – Gallery One content was developed by Seema Rao, Patty Edmonson, and Hajnal Eppley. ArtLens content was developed by Jennifer Foley, Lori Wienke, and Bethany Corriveau.)
Information Management and Technology Services – (Jane Alexander,Andrea Bour,Jeanne DeBonis, Will Hannah,Tom Hood, Niki Krause,Scott Pollack,and Linda Wetzel.)
Design and Architecture – (Jeffrey Strean,and Thomas Barnard III)
Collection Management – (Mary Suzor, Howard Agriesti, David Brichford, Elizabeth Saluk, Bruce Shewitz, Tracy Sisson)
Local Projects Team:
Jake Barton – Principal
Katie Lee – Creative Director
Keeli Shaw – Project Manager
Angela Chen – Interaction Designer
Ian Curry – Director of Interaction Design
Erika Tarte – Graphic Designer
Miriam Lakes – Content Coordinator and Developer
David Scharf – Creative Technologist
Ethan Holda – Director of Technology
Erick Kendrick, Principal
Marcelle Kratochvil – Lead Developer
Martin Channon – Systems Engineer
Earprint Productions(app content development):
Jason Reinier,Founder & CEO
Catherine Girardeau,Creative Director
Francesco Hofer,Project Coordinator for Navizon
Gianni Giorgetti,Director of Research and Development