Museums and mobile: beyond the touchscreen

Mobile guides have become ubiquitous in museums, but questions persist about their impact on visitor experience in terms of visitors looking down at their device, rather than up at the display. Oxford University Museums have conducted a research and development project to explore how mobile devices could be used to encourage and facilitate 'heads up' engagement.

Oxford University Museums have developed new mobile interactives that rely less on the mobile screen and more on other capabilities of the phone: sensors, image recognition, and Bluetooth. Using these features they turn smartphones into surrogates for some of the objects on display, allowing visitors to physically try using some of their scientific apparatus and musical instruments.

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