Thursday Salute to Originals: A Touchscreen Museum Visit

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a new interactive gallery that combines art and technology to encourage visitors to explore the museum’s permanent collection. This new feature in Cleveland is a source of great excitement here at GPI Design, not only for its use of LED technology, but for its forward-thinking approach to redefining the museum experience.

This innovative gallery space features the “Collection Wall”, the largest multi-touch micro-tile screen in the United States, which presents images of over 3,500 items from the museum’s collection. This 5×40-foot interactive wall features a 23-million pixel display that changes every 40 seconds, grouping works by theme and type (such as time period, materials and techniques) as well as curated views of the collection.

The technology facilitates discovery and dialogue with other visitors and can serve as an orientation experience, allowing visitors to download existing tours or create their own. Multiple users can interact with the wall, simultaneously opening as many as twenty separate interfaces, making sure everyone can explore together.

As visitors depart from the Collection Wall to walk through the museum, a specially designed iPad app called Artlens serves as an interactive map.  Intended destinations can be chosen at the main Collection Wall and the iPad will guide you to that specific work within the museum.  As you approach each work, indoor geo-triangulation software opens new content within the app, empowering each visitor to connect the collection in a unique way, and creating a more powerful, personal experience.

Every 10 minutes, an application content management system updates the “Collection Wall” with high-resolution artwork images, metadata, and the frequency with which each artwork has been “favorited” on the wall and from within the ArtLens iPad app. These activity metrics enable museum staff to understand what artworks visitors are engaging with, creating a feedback loop within the museum.

As technology and social media become the main tools for sharing content and expressing individuality, we salute the Cleveland Museum of Art for grasping those trends and transforming not only a feature wall, but the entire museum experience.