iBeacons reach museums, changing people

Image | Casa Rubens

One of the most common characteristics of dreams is the sensation of continually changing settings without having to make any kind of effort. Spaces, people and situations that a second ago were not there, in an instant appear before our eyes, generating content produced by our subconscious in real time.

iBeacons’ technology resembles this a bit: thanks to the geolocation system created by Apple, which transmits nearby signals through a low-power Bluetooth connection, in a second we can access information that was not previously there, like in a dream. The difference is that to enjoy this experience one needs to have a smartphone.

The functioning of iBeacons is simple: All one has to do is to approach and the content is activated, beginning to play on one’s mobile phone or tablet.** Imagine its potential at museums all over the world.** Today most Art facilities offer the possibility of using an audio guide, a phone-like device that provides the visitor with additional information on certain works. Others make available to users their own apps, which substantially improve the museum visit experience, often through the use of augmented reality.

What iBeacons do is to simplify the whole process even more: there’s no need to press any buttons, or to get into an application, trying to find what one wants to see. Installed on works of Art, the Beacons will only be activated when the user approaches the device.

The New Museum in New York, for example, recreated a mine field using iBeacons on the occasion of the UN’s International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. The aim of the action was to raise public awareness of the horror of this practice by experiencing a simulation first hand.

The Rubens house in Antwerp, Belgium, has also incorporated Apple’s iBeacons to offer visitors much greater insight into the life and work of the Baroque artist.

In Spain the first museum to employ this technology is the Museu d’Art Nacional de Catalunya (MNAC) in Barcelona, in conjunction with its new presentation of its 19th and 20th Centuries Collection. Thanks to Mobisfera and its iBeacons intallation, citizens who visit this collection will have access to exclusive multimedia content unavailable in any other way. To enjoy this new way of experiencing Art, all that’s necessary is to download the MNAC’s free application which will be available soon.

In this way the mobile world capital continues to build on its pioneering role in the adoption of new technologies for mobile devices.

The Mobile Transformation Programme (MTP) aims to promote and stimulate Barcelona's key mobile sector, in addition to directly educating citizens and visitors about Barcelona's role as the world's mobile capital.

The strategic sectors to which the MTP assigns priority are Tourism (hotels, dining, etc.), Retail (shopping, commerce, etc.) and the Creative Industries (gaming, audiovisual, culture, etc.).

Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.

Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.

MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.

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