New 'mApp' platform helps museums leverage Apple's iBeacons for interactive exhibits

in iPhone edited January 2015
Museum visits may become far more immersive in the future thanks to Dutch microlocation startup LabWerk's new mApp platform, a deployment and management system that allows museums to quickly and easily roll out iBeacon-based interactive exhibits.

LabWerk envisions a new generation of mApp-powered companion applications that will deliver hypertargeted updates as visitors move around the museum. The apps could alert them to an upcoming lecture as they pass by the auditorium, for instance, or display navigation information.

Current exhibit enhancements, such as self-guided audio tours, can be confusing and frustrating to use by requiring visitors to scan barcodes or forcing them to move more quickly than they would like to. mApp promises to make that process smoother using automation, thanks to iBeacons' sub-meter precision.

"We're proud to launch one of the first commercially available iBeacon platforms," LabWerk CEO Floris Boekel said in a release. "There are many great benefits to beacon technology and we see the museum industry as being one of the biggest beneficiaries of this new way to communicate and engage with people."

The platform also makes it possible for museums to add new twists on existing gamification elements, like scavenger hunts, while Passbook integration means coupons and rewards can be issued instantly. Additionally, apps can be rolled out in a number of different languages, a boon for museums that attract large numbers of international visitors.

mApp is already in production at Tulip-themed tourist attraction Tulpenland in Sint Maartenszee, Netherlands. Visitors receive supplementary content via location-based videos and images, and can earn discounts and rebates by completing a quiz on the story of the tulip.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Loving this iBeacon stuff.  Got to see the upgrade option of seats at a basketball game with a friend.  Impressive.

  • Reply 2 of 7
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    Thankfully they aren't calling it the "mmmBop" platform.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    This is the kind of stuff Apple should immediately acquire.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    Last year I went to see the Manet exhibit in London, at the Royal Museum of Art I believe and the audio guides there seemed to be Android based with me having to manually indicate on the touchscreen next to which of his paintings I was standing via a number next to said paintings. iBeacons should be a great improvement on that sort of thing.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 639member


  • Reply 6 of 7
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 639member

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

    This is the kind of stuff Apple should immediately acquire.

    Yeah definitely.  If they price it right with the museums they could corner the market very quickly.

  • Reply 7 of 7
    Agree with 1983. The opportunities that beacons offer to enhance visitor experiences in museums are many. From navigation to ticketless entry to an engaging interaction with visitors - museums can do it all with beacons. This post lists down the possibilities and how museums are using beacons currently:
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