We’ve had some interesting projects launch in 2016. One such project is the e-guide for the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge - a great example of a museum using digital interpretation to engage their audiences.
The project is part of the museum’s bicentenary celebrations; two hundred years is a long time to stay relevant and the Fitzwilliam is a notable case of a museum being able to evolve with the changing perceptions of the function of museums and galleries. Key to this development is their ability to understand and respond to visitor needs.
Acoustiguide were asked to produce a digital guide to help visitors navigate and access the Fitzwilliam’s collection. The app uses interactive maps to locate certain objects within the galleries. Visitors can either download the app straight to their phones or hire one of the on-site devices.
The museum holds 100 smart technology devices and 10 of Acoustiguide’s brand new proprietary Opus+ devices.
Opus+ is the next generation of our Opus series and has evolved to take advantage of improved technologies in the industry. The Fitzwilliam chose the Opus+ for their audio descriptive content because of its accessible and uncomplicated delivery.
All devices are supported by our brand new wireless charging facilities. The inductive charging rack has no physical connectors, to give a reliable charging process and reduced scope for damage. This translates to an easier delivery of the guide and a more efficient charging solution.
As part of the bicentennial celebrations, there will be a selection of exciting temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The first of these is Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient Egypt, which runs until 22 May. This exhibition explores the beliefs and working practices behind the Fitzwilliam's remarkable collection of Egyptian coffins and reveals new information on how they were made. A live conservation area within the exhibition provides visitors with a unique insight into the science behind conserving and examining the objects.
An interpretative tour is available for the exhibition within the digital guide. In addition, we have prepared an audio-descriptive tour, which is available on our Opus+ devices.
The second major exhibition for 2016, COLOUR, celebrates the Fitzwilliam's bicentenary with a stunning display of 150 of some of the finest illuminated manuscripts in the world. The exhibition showcases advanced cutting-edge research from the MINIARE project undertaken by the Fitzwilliam's curators. Running from 30 July - 30 December 2016; a main tour and VI tour of the exhibition will again be available for visitors to make the most of their experience.
Working closely with The Fitzwilliam Museum on their digital guide has given us a fantastic insight into changing visitor needs. The app will be a welcome and engaging addition to their visitor experience and if you are ever in Cambridge, it is well worth experiencing this informative and enjoyable guide.
We shall be exploring the challenges and successes of this exciting project in more depth at this year’s Museums and Heritage Show. Our talk 21st Century interpretation in a 19th Century Museum takes place in the New Technology theatre on Thursday 19th May. Come and meet us... We'll be waiting for you!