March 27, 2019 / Opening hours: 10:00-18:00

Art of the future: smart museums with IoT devices

Art of the future: smart museums with IoT devices

Different online tours, free virtual exhibitions, and travel shows are gaining momentum resulting in the people’s unwillingness to visit museums. Whereas in 2016 the world’s most popular museum the Louvre accepted around 9million visitors, in 2018 only 7 million guests visited it. To compare, in 2014 around 11 million people attended the main French museum.

Digital technologies will help to adapt to changes in culture. Read further in the article how to use the IoT to boost the popularity of museums.

IoT will help to improve museum service

From the standpoint of visitors, the attractiveness of the exhibition depends on two characteristics: uniqueness of exhibits and popularity of authors. Sensors will help to understand which areas of the gallery gain most of popularity and which art works attract most of attention. For example, infrared motion detectors define IR radiating objects within a radius of several meters. They can help to register areas of the museum that gather the greatest number of guests.

Russian galleries should think how to improve security of exhibits after the notorious theft of the picture by ArkhipKuindzhi from the Tretyakov Gallery. Igor Mozorov, the deputy chair of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education, and Culture, believes that the security system of any museum should include video cameras that can monitor all premises and motion sensors that respond to activity in close vicinity to exhibits.

Besides, face recognition systems can improve museum service. Currently they are usually used for public purposes, for example, to catch criminals. However, the technology can help to recognize emotions of attendees. The neural network can later process data gathered from video cameras with embedded sensors.

The 20th Century Fox’s system called Merlin relies on the same principle to define the potential audience of films. The program is based on the artificial intelligence: the system analyzes cinema shots, compares them with other films, and predicts what type of audience they may appeal to.

Internet of Things will help to turn data into a valuable competitive resource

Data about attendees will allow not only improving the service but also providing competitive edge. Thanks to data processing, one can form preferences of the potential market. Museums can adapt current collections to such forecasts and design upcoming exhibitions.

Besides, data generated in one museum can be compared with data of its competitors. Which museum has the biggest emotional impact on visitors? For how long have visitors been viewing pictures of the same artist in different rooms? Which rooms do visitors prefer: spacious or small? This information will help to estimate how indirect factors (location, brand of the museum, size of rooms, etc.) influence attendance.

IOT Conference: Art of the future: smart museums with IoT devices

Connected devices – a tool designed to make interactive exhibits

Museum exhibits equipped with additional devices attract a bigger number of visitors. Exhibitions “David Bowie Is” and “Pink Floyd: their Mortal Remains” held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, have proven that.

Exhibits there were integrated with audio and visual technologies called Sennheiser and mobile interactive elements. As a result, London museum managed to beat records in terms of the number of attendees of previous exhibitions.

Cisco,the US networking hardware & software developer, thinks that the next generation of visitors need the experience of interaction with high technologies.

“Long-term digital success requires a comprehensible digital strategy rather than the traditional short-run project-oriented approach. It requires a roadmap for strategic investments in IT that would meet demands and goals of the museum,” noted Paul Garvey, a specialist from Cisco.

Internet of Things will help museums to withstand competition with the digital environment.Michael Ellis, the UK Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism has encouraged this idea and supported the initiative to digitize the exhibits of the Natural History Museum,“It is important to unveil the creative potential of technologies in order to reach to new audiences and provide prosperity of the culture sector in the era of new technologies”.


Learn more about the IoT use cases at the international Internet of Things Forum held in Moscow on March 27.

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