ARTLENS @ Gallery One: A Look at the Future of Museum Engagement

My visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) forever changed the way I will experience museums. CMA’s Gallery One, and the accompanying ARTLENS app, seamlessly blends art and technology, creating an individually tailored arts experience.

 

Although the entire exhibit was remarkable, the ARTLENS app stood out in its ability to enhance the already remarkable Gallery One experience.  ARTLENS provides three different ways to interact with the collection: “Galleries”, “Tours” and “You”. [SU1] 


The Galleries function offers the user the opportunity to visualize the map of the entire museum with artworks’ locations, while choosing “You” invites visitors to select their favorite items from the collection, laying the foundation for users to create their own tours.

ARTLENS App.  Screenshot

ARTLENS App.  Screenshot


ARTLENS App.  Screenshot

ARTLENS App.  Screenshot

But some of the most innovative and outstanding solutions offered by ARTLENS are found in “Near You Now”, “Tours”, and “Scan”. “Near You Now” and “Tours” are accessible through the general tours menu, whereas the “Scan” icon is present in every section on the upper-right corner of the screen.

 

 “Near You Now” allows visitors to browse and find digital interpretation of nearby works of art. It includes short segments of audio and video, allowing visitors to choose what they prefer to hear about a specific work without forcing them into a long linear, audio narrative as is standard for audio tours.

 

ARTLENS App.  Screenshot

ARTLENS App.  Screenshot

The “Tours” function lets visitors customize their experience of the collection, according individual desires. ARTLENS lists different ways of approaching the collection, following specific themes such as Sculptures or Symbolism in Art. For visitors who are short on time, the app also allows for selection of tours by duration, with options ranging from 30 to 45 min. ARTLENS’ Tour function offers the chance to walk through the galleries with the CMA’s director and curators to discover their favorites, or create a new tour based on the visitor’s favorite artworks.

 

But the most intuitive function offered by ARTLENS is the “Scan” function. Visitors to museums often want to take pictures of their favorite paintings. The “Scan” function takes advantage of this impulse, using image recognition technology to trigger text or video pop ups. This interactive and intuitive function enables visitors to learn more about a work of art and its artist by harnessing behavior already familiar to them.

 

Overall, ARTLENS is an effective app. Its simplicity and intuitive layout guarantees fun and encourages artistic curiosity in all visitors regardless of their age, background or knowledge of art. By giving users a wide range of choices and adapting to the customer’s needs and preferences, ARTLENS ensures that anyone can feel comfortable walking around the space and enjoy the collection in unexpected innovative way.

 

More information about Gallery One and ARTLENS is available on the Cleveland Museum of Art website and on MW2013: Museums and the Web 2013

 

If you had the chance to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art and get your hands on the ARTLENS App, let us know about your experience and impressions! How did you like it? What are your comments about the museum’s integration of art and technology?