Implementation and Prototypes

Based on these findings, we have created three different prototypes that attempt to put our recommendations into action quickly and inexpensively. These examples are simply proofs of concept, but we hope that by making them available and discussing the process of their development we will provide the museum community with some fresh possibilities for mobile development. We hope that these examples will spark conversation and encourage more institutions to develop and experiment with mobile-based programs quickly. By pooling all of our experiences and best practices, we can move the field of mobile technology for museums forward and continue to think critically and creatively about how to facilitate and enrich the experiences of a variety of audiences.

A primary focus of our implementations has been to extend and utilize pre-existing software frameworks and standards. This approach to mobile development avoids having to start from scratch every time an institution wishes to launch content for mobile, saving valuable resources. Lowering the barrier-of-entry for institutions is a high priority, and a modular approach fits into diverse workflows to meet institutional needs. Our prototypes originate from an Omeka site that publishes museum collections online. That content can then be sent to mobile devices and easily accessed with a mobile browser. Third, we built a native cross-platform mobile application. We built these prototypes using open source software to share our code in the hopes that other developers will use it to build their own mobile projects and then share their open source code and project ideas with the greater museum community.

1. Produce and use Omeka plugins that will facilitate the development of in-gallery mobile work

2. Launch a cross-platform mobile website that brings collections to people outside of museum walls.

3. Harness power of mobile devices through native cross-platform applications.