What needs do the visitors of the American Museum of Natural History have and what behaviours do they exhibit during their museum visit? “Loupe” is based on the observation of museum visitors with the aim to better understand their behaviours and values in order to create an interactive and user-friendly solution that enables them to relate better to the exhibits and highlights of the museum. A detailed route has been created that guides visitors through the individual halls, informing them at all times about where they are and what exhibits they are about to encounter. Inspired by a magnifying glass, the “Loupe” visitor interface allows users to not only pick out individual objects and get all relevant information about them, but also to learn about animals, including more exotic ones, such as elephants for example, but also animals that have died out thousands of years ago, such as dinosaurs. Through using their mobile device in combination with the system, these animals come to life in animated short films that show them roaring for instance. Visitors are thus given more vivid experiences of the displayed exhibits – experiences that they can also easily and directly share on social networks.
Statement by the Jury
The outstanding achievement of this visitor-centred information system is that it goes beyond the matter-of-factly presentation in a historical museum by providing a more exciting and engaging approach. It allows visitors to experience individual exhibits in motion, understand them through various sensory impressions and, in addition, respond somewhat interactively by making recommendations or “liking” their favourite exhibits. This is elegant, highly engaging and innovative.