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Asian Art Museum Enhances Visitor Experience With BLE Beacons

The museum, using technology from Cuseum, has been providing location-based content for app-using visitors, while its long-term goals include ticket purchasing, membership drives and possibly RFID-enabled tools.
By Claire Swedberg

Looking ahead, the museum not only intends to add more beacons and greater functionality (according to Lee, additional beacons will be installed this spring and summer), but also may opt to experiment with RFID tags on lanyards or devices that visitors could carry with them and then return to the museum at the end of their visit. The RFID technology could be used to identify a visitor and display a video of interest on a nearby screen, for example.

The beacon data can also enable the museum to study the flow of visitor traffic and determine how traffic management can be optimized. It can also enable future exhibition planning and design based on traffic flow. "This is a transformative opportunity to analyze how people walk through," Lee explains, as well as whether they pause in front of certain exhibits, but bypass others. If most visitors are missing an important piece, for example, that could indicate that it needs to be relocated.

What's more, the museum envisions using beacon technology to create digital connections with visitors in order to drive donations and memberships, or to conduct conversations with them about exhibits or artwork of interest. In the long run, Ciecko says, the museum intends to go beyond "just triggering information about an object in front of you."

In addition to adding beacons this summer, the museum plans to provide a formal visitor questionnaire, which will help it to better understand its visitors' interests.

More than a hundred museums are now using Cuseum's platform, Ciecko says, including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

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