27.07.2019 by Hester Gersonius
Keywords: smARTplaces app
Imagine being able to visit seven European museums across five countries in one day. Discovering new people, new stories and art from different cultures and countries. That’s what the new smARTplaces app is all about. The mobile application features new forms of virtual storytelling to be explored by users around Europe. Britta Lerch, smARTplaces project coordinator: “The app has been in development for two years. A co-production between seven institutions, developed by the project’s technology partner the Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland together with menschortweb it really was a labour of love. We are excited to finally show it to the public.”
“It was important for us to develop a different kind of museum app. We wanted to move beyond the traditional informational app to an actual virtual museum – and challenge our partners to think about how to interact with their online visitors in the process.” The feature that sets the app aside from its kind is the Storyworld: a slot machine for stories that takes you inside a cultural institution through many different and annotating storylines. Guiding you through the Storyworld are museum directors, curators, volunteers and visitors. The concept for this feature was developed by the team of the Storylab kiU, a research project of Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. “It really is a unique way to virtually visit and engage with a museum, that hasn’t been shown before. For us it is an experiment to offer a new playful approach to non-linear storytelling in the digital museum context.”
And there’s more. In addition to the Storyworld, you can learn more about the institutions, art works and local projects through exclusive videos and augmented reality features. Wherever you are, the AR Compass will guide you to the selected museum or cultural institution. The AR Art Hunt feature offers a virtual art hunt in the institution’s surroundings, letting users discover virtual art works from the collections while taking a stroll through the cities. “As with the smARTplaces project, the app blurs the lines between online and on-site art consumption. We believe the app will enable new audience groups to discover exciting cultural stories all over Europe.”
Now, it’s up to the audience to explore the app. “We hope that our online visitors will love the app as much as we do, but also help us to make it even better. Everyone is invited to have a look around and share their experiences and ideas with us.” The current features are just the first step: For the end of 2019 the team plans to add new features such as personal art tours through the museums, experimenting with image pattern recognition and indoor navigation.
The smARTplaces app is optimised for smartphones and now available to download for iOS and Android:
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