If you’re pulling a Ben Stiller and spending a night (or day) at the museum, don’t forget your phone. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. is using Tags next to some of its 800,000 pieces, says a sharp-eyed coworker. By scanning Tags next to gallery artwork, museum browsers can get more info about the artist as well as various museum programs. Check it out:
This isn’t the Smithsonian’s first foray into mobile tagging. Its Natural History Museum previously used 2D barcodes in a Neanderthal exhibit. After scanning barcodes, users were taken to a mobile app and could upload a picture that would be turned into a “Meanderthal,” giving them an idea of what they might’ve looked like 50,000 years ago (creative!). The Seattle Art Museum recently used tagging too, putting Tags throughout its popular Picasso exhibit.
Using Tags in a museum is a great way to make exhibits more interactive by providing additional detail about certain pieces, link them with your online gift shop where they can buy a particular print, or help people find their way through the exhibit. Have you seen 2D barcodes being used at a museum? And would you scan one? There are probably other ideas that'd work well too. Tell us what you'd like to see in a museum in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.