Cleveland Museum of Art Uses iPads for Visitor-Personalized Tours

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Cleveland Museum of Art has developed a new system that allows visitors to use iPads to give themselves personalized tours, share tours with other visitors, gain more information about exhibits and more, according to The New York Times.
    Image via Michael F. McElroy, New York TimesThe system starts at a 40-foot touchscreen that allows visitors to view all of the art at the museum in postcard-sized photos. When a visitor selects one of the photos, it is enlarged and arranged on the screen with similarly themed art placed around the selected photo. Next to the photo is a heart-shaped icon that allows the visitor to transfer it to a favorites list on an iPad app. Visitors can bring their own iPads or rent one for $5 a day.
    The new technology is part of a $350 million expansion to the museum, which includes Gallery One where the 40-foot touchscreen displaying the museum's art is located.

    The goal of the new program is to lure new visitors to the museum, although museum directors do note that there is a danger that users of the app could choose to stay home and admire the art on their iPads. Director Franklin cited this as a reason why they don't support the Google Art Project, which houses high-definition photos of art.

    The museum plans to expand the program to iPhones and add new digital features in the future, while other museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and National September 11 Memorial Museum are planning to launch similar connectivity with iPads.

    Article Link: Cleveland Museum of Art Uses iPads for Visitor-Personalized Tours
  2. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    This is awesome, I've always dreamed of this as a kid and now it's reality.
  3. Squilly macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    Ruins the experience for me, personally. You don't go to a museum to use a tablet.
  4. bassfingers macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2010
    It's just as valid a way to deliver information about the art as any other.

    Once upon a time, printed labels, light bulbs, and air conditioning were all cutting edge technology
  5. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Since anyone can use this app from home as well, I tried it--BIG content download the first time, but it's a very neat and informative app!

    The camera stuff (detecting art you point the device at) sounds like it would be neat in person.

    Well, you go to a museum to see the art.... AND to learn about it.

    Is it wrong to read captions/plaques? Listen to a tour guide? Follow a map? If those things are acceptable tools to accompany the art, then an iPad app is too. And can do some things those others can't. Different people prefer different experiences, but this need not subtract in any way from the art.

    Meanwhile, you can also use this even if you never go to Cleveland. It's like a free art book.
  6. lognormalmr macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2013
    From first hand experience, I can tell you it's 40 feet, not 40 inches.
  7. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012

    You can always choose not to use it.:D
  8. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    that also means that super hot guided tour ladies will be becoming scarcer
  9. pancakedrawer macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    Museum of modern art in Tasmania, Australia has a similar software with iPod touches. It seems it would be a bit to distracting with an iPad though. The iPods just sit around your neck in case you need them.
  10. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    If you are paying an OPTIONAL $5 or so to rent the OPTIONAL tablet, and that RUINS your experience, guess who is not that smart?

    Museums all over the world have had these small tape-player or CD-player devices with headphones. You see numbers 1-100 all over the museum, press the number, and you can hear a 2 minute spiel from someone talking about the art pieces or paintings. Extremely helpful if you go to a foreign country where you can't find anyone speaking your language. Or you get to the Louvre for example, at say, 2:15, and the next guided tour in English is at 4:00 and you don't want to wait.



    "I'm being replaced by an iPad"
  11. Pilgrim1099 Suspended

    Apr 30, 2008
    From the Midwest to the Northeast
    This is my hometown (although I don't live in that state nowadays. Long story) and have been to the CMA many, many times over the years especially the Cleveland Inst of Art across the street where I studied at. It's one of the top art museums in the country, if not globally. They have the right idea when they did the 40 feet wide touchscreen but I did'nt get to see it in person while on vacation last Fall.

    To BBeagle, you're forgetting the point here. The iPad, or any other tablet device, used at the museum (or gallery) is a good tool for visual guidance, especially when the person is deaf. I've used recorded guided tours and they were a pain to use while using the hearing aid. Whereas, the tablet would have visual information right on the display.

    In a sense this is good because it saves the museum from having to place text on the walls describing each piece.

    @Squilly, it does'nt ruin the experience entirely because the images are low resolution to counter the web viewers. It's meant to entice, not to virtually visit. I know of their website and how they have a category of works on there but there is a massive difference in looking at art on screen and seeing the real thing in person.

    I can tell you this. The Armor Court, upstairs on the second floor far back near the old art deco section, at the CMA kicks a$$. Even the medieval tapestries on the walls were so huge that it would take a lot of finger swiping and scrolling to view it in detail. It's far better to see them in person.
  12. litmag01 macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2009
    Cool Idea

    Seems better than the lanyard audio-tour-wand-sabers.

    I wonder how they manage loss prevention though.
  13. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    This was nice to have for the kids to get more info on pieces you are viewing (once they relized that can't download angry birds).


    Hasn't that already happened?
  14. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    yes, 2 posts further up
  15. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I know first hand at big events here in Buffalo the wands are given out because of the masses and this helps only those that can hear and want a quick hurry hurry experience.

    While it's good for some the whole missed point about having a guide (a real person) is to learn what isn't typed, previously recorded or labeled using any devise. Ask a question in response to what was just said, who answers? What if you notice something about said display, then what? Each has a place but I'm guessing unless any devise gets loaded with a good amount of features it will fall flat of what helps educate the uneducated in a good fun way properly. Though I guess I'm biased because of being in art since I was a few years old, studied at school, college and friends and I worked at the local galleries for the experience without iPads :cool:


    I'm also guessing way better battery control with this or using iPods in the same way. I can't tell you how many tours I went through that I needed to go exchange those wands because the battery died half way through ;)

    If I remember correctly, at the Albright Knox we gave everyone a wand, those that declined were given a ticket and at the end had to turn in said ticket and pass through an end point to make sure nothing was removed from the tour where the wands were handed out. That and multiple cameras did help which is where most of the staff comes in play.
  16. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    Sweet! I may just take a little road trip from Toledo to Cleveland to see what it's like this weekend. :D
  17. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    Easy, they can scan your credit card number ;)
  18. iGrip macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2010
    It depends how you use it. It would be great for maps or as they implemented it, tours. It would also be great for marking bookmarks for later study, and some kind of AI could point you toward stuff you might like based on your current likes.

    Or you could sit on the bench watching videos using headphones. Yeah - that doesn't seem like the best experience.
  19. righteye macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    In the uk we used to have Sister Wendy ( a real Nun) who spent a lot of her life in a small caravan in the grounds of a convent on her own reading about art, she then was persuaded to go on TV and tell the story behind the art and it was very interesting.
    Would be great to have Sister Wendy giving you the low down on the Art as you walked round.
    With her unique style it takes some getting used to but the information and the delivery become quite compelling if you are into that sort of thing.

    found This, some Written commentary by her about a work of art at Cleveland Museum.

  20. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    ^^^^ We were told about Sister Wendy in Intro to Art, cool how you brought this up, brings back some good times in that class :D
  21. Gasu E. macrumors 601

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    Well, back in the '60's, I would often use a tablet when I went to the art museum. Really made those abstract paintings pop out at you!


    Siri. :D

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