6 Mobile Innovations for Museums and Art Galleries

Pic | Imamusemum

Can a mobile phone or tablet become a museum exhibit ? In some places this is already happening, and even though it may not yet be something very common, there are many ways these devices let you create or enjoy art using the most diverse functions and technological features.

After you have learned about how artists use mobile devices to design their creations, we now want you to discover the 6 astounding technological projects that are now coming to the museums.


6 Mobile Innovations for Museums and Art Galleries

Of course, being the Mobile World Capital, Barcelona also has the pleasure to host a venue for exhibitions at which you can experience all the possibilities of mobile technology and how it is changing our lives.

The application of the Centre (available for Android and iOS) lets you make the most of your visit with more than a hundred augmented reality applications (videos, games, additional information about multiple apps and many more), but if you do not have a smartphone there is no need to worry, the traders at the venue will borrow you a tablet so you can fully enjoy the visit. It is located in the city center, at Plaza Catalunya, which shows how important it is to the city to spread awareness about these new technologies at your disposal.


Probably the first use given to mobile telephones in a museum was that of providing the popular QR codes. This is a special type of encoded imagery which you can scan with your mobile’s camera and which provides us with additional information in form of texts, links or (like in the case of the Cleveland Museum of Art), an audio-guide.

If you take this established technology one step further and add global positioning to it, you get Stqry, an application that allows you to find out about the history of a variety of interesting places in museums, zoos or on the street. First, you locate these places on a map and then you can receive more information through a QR code. For now it is only available in New Zealand, Seattle and San Francisco.

Minecraft at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney

In Sydney they chose something more spectacular and instead of QR, they recurred to its elder brother, augmented reality. In this case your mobile device recognizes what you are looking at through its camera and adds more content to this real environment by including superimposed virtual imagery. As the Powerhouse Museum has always been proud of spearheading the use of technology, they had the wonderful idea to make their museum a home for the popular designs of the videogame Minecraft. The video above says it all.

Mobile World Centre

The invasion of technology into museums has only just begun. A few years from now apps for looking at works of art on smartphones or tablets will become a common sight. But not just that, there is another field which is already starting to be explored: The smartwatch.

At the beginning of 2014 you could already enjoy the first exhibition using these gadgets for an artistic purpose. You can be sure that it was not the last one you will see.

Following the path of augmented reality we found an original proposal by the JapaneseKei Shiratori and Takeshi Mukai. It allows you to bring famous works of art to life simply by pointing your mobile device at them. For now the app is available for iOS.

It still works only with a limited number of works of art, but participating in the workshops of the creators it is possible to help increase the number of animated art objects. A museum on your mobile.

The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam

With the core characteristic of a smartphone being the fact that it is a mobile device, why not take the museum out to the street? Just this has been done in the capital of Netherlands at the Anne Frank Museum with an application that takes you all around the city and lets you view pictures of the life of the holocaust victim superimposed onto the places where specific events occurred. A great way to extend the exhibition and provide visitors with additional context.

The Next Step: Smartwatches in Museums