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 its ability to understand and respond to visitor needs and with the new Acoustiguide-designed app the museum will provide an interactive map to enable the visitor to locate certain objects within the galleries.
Visitors can either download the app straight to their phones or alternatively, hire one of the on-site devices with Acoustiguide supplying the museum with 100 smart technology devices and 10 of our proprietary Opus+ devices.
Opus+ is the next generation of Acoustiguide’s Opus series and has evolved to take advantage of improved technologies available in the global market as well as some changes to the physical design of the device. The Fitzwilliam chose Opus because of its accessible (key pad based) and uncomplicated delivery.
“Our understanding of what Digital is, and what it can do for us, is constantly changing. Technological advances power this change, with museums making the most of the new opportunities brought about through digital developments,” said Acoustiguide’s Caitlin Bain. “Visitor expectations have also evolved in line with these developments. Our ambition at Acoustiguide is to create experiences that help people to connect with culture, and help culture to connect with the future.”
Acoustiguide is established as a leading name in digital interpretation that has pushed boundaries to test and develop immersive applications through technology ranging from ibeacons and GPS-led navigation to Wi-Fi streaming and auto-triggering content. Its in-house app developers and content specialists, help it to achieve the goal of providing pioneering visitor experiences.
“All of the devices will be supported by our brand new wireless charging facilities,” she said. “Developed by Acoustiguide, our inductive charging rack has no physical connectors between the device and charger, which gives it a very reliable charging process and reduces the 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 will be Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient Egypt. This will explore the beliefs and working practices behind the Fitzwilliam’s remarkable collection of Egyptian coffins and reveal new information on how they were made. A live conservation area within the exhibition will provide visitors with a unique insight into the science behind conserving and examining the objects. An interpretative tour will be available for the exhibition within the digital guide. In addition, Acoustiguide will prepare an audio-descriptive tour, which will be available on the Opus+ devices.
“Working closely with The Fitzwilliam Museum on their digital guide has given us a fantastic insight into changing visitor needs,” said Bain.