Last night I had the great opportunity to drop in on the Brand Experience Lab. For this group, the challenge is to create memorable experiences that seamlessly pair consumer expectations with new technologies. Seeing some of the next generation technologies in marketing and interactive media, I was reminded just how far behind the cultural sector had gotten with even current technologies. RFID being a prime example of a solution that is way past due.
RFID in Museums is by no means a new idea, it just isn't being fully explored and leveraged to maximum effect. Back in 2003, RFID was making the rounds of Museum technology conferences and research papers. While there are institutions out there that are using RFID, these tend to be rooted in collections management. After my own epiphany at BEL, I became even more aware of how far RFID could enrich and inform the in-Museum experience for visitors.
I will not pontificate too much on this. Instead, I'll let my readers review some of the resources and links out there relevant to RFID and Museums and hopefully guide some great research and services to the right audiences.
- Cleveland Museum of Art - The publication CIO describes the Cleveland Museum's ventures in active visitorship to their encyclopedic institution.
- The Walker Art Center currently leverages RFID in its collections management and location tracking systems.
- eXspot: A Wireless RFID Transceiver for Recording and Extending Museum Visits - A great research and case study on how RFID can be combined with visitor systems to improve and extend the user visitation experience.
- Another eXspot article. This one presented at the ACM conference. All articles relating to RFID and Museums on the ACM portal can be explored here.
- The National Museum in Tokyo explores RFID in coordination with a PDA-type user guide. This would open up a host of applications and devices from wayfinding to audio guides and other self-guided tour options.
- Far and away a leader in Museum and attraction-based uses of RFID, LEGOLAND implants RFID into tickets and bracelets for admissions and visitor tracking. They also use it to locate lost children.
- Another LEGOLAND case study.
- Finally, two articles on different handheld technologies that read RFID tags in Museum contexts. One at Engadget the other from a university in Germany.