The Aruba Mobile Engagement Solution Guides Visitors at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando Museum
In order to offer visitors a solution helping them to visit and increase their knowledge of its five centuries of art, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando Museum has deployed the Aruba Mobile Engagement solution. Through the Meridian platform, the Beacons and the Museum Experience application, visitors now have, thanks to indoor navigation, the best information about the works exhibited and the services at their fingertips on their own mobile phone.
Created in 1752, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando is an institution dedicated to the promotion of the Arts, and its Museum currently boasts an artistic heritage including over 1,500 paintings, 1,300 sculptures and 15,000 drawings, in addition to prints, furniture, silver and goldware, jewelry, porcelain and other decorative art objects, making it one of the most important art galleries in the country.
“Because of the scale of our collection, we wanted to incorporate a solution that would let us improve the visitor experience, providing the latter with a fully interactive Museum guide”, says Mercedes González de Amezúa, Head of the Academy Museum Collections. “With the Mobile Engagement solution, we have managed to provide all of this and much more for the user on his or her own mobile phone. Thanks to this project, an institution like ours with five centuries of history, is once again at the forefront of innovation”.
Technology at the Service of Art
Aruba Networks has been commissioned to provide the technological infrastructure for this project implemented by Mobile Experience, the company in charge of the deployment and development of the Museum Experience application, which visitors download on their own mobile phone or tablet for the visit. Two Aruba Networks technologies have been used to carry out this project: last generation Wi-Fi and the Meridian platform along with Aruba Beacons.
The Wi-Fi network allows visitors to connect when they enter the Museum, being able to download the application for free as well as easy navigation during their visit. For this Wireless LAN, Aruba has provided forty 115 Series Instant Access Points. Access is via the ClearPass solution that enables you to control visitors’ access to the network, allowing them to use it only for the purposes determined by the Museum.
Aruba Beacons in an 18th-century palace
Aruba Beacons facilitate indoor navigation transmitting a Bluetooth signal to the Museum Experience application. This signal sent at regular intervals is interpreted by iOS or Android devices that have downloaded the Museum application and thanks to which the app locates visitors in real time.
For this project an average of three beacons have been installed in each of the Museum rooms, their number being increased or reduced according to the size of the room and its visitor traffic. Thus, through the application, the beacons locate visitors inside the Museum with an accuracy of less than 1 meter and can guide them to the place they want to go.
Unlike other solutions, Aruba Beacons are small, discrete and autonomous. The Bluetooth signal emitted is low-energy, so the battery lasts about two years, and its installation is simple and non-intrusive. This is especially important in the case of a historic building like this one. Aruba Beacons can be disguised in cornices or with temperature control panels without degrading the building’s aesthetics.
Customized itineraries in the palm of your hand
Thanks to Aruba, we can offer a unique visitor experience through our Museum Experience app. Visitors can plan their own visit, adapting it to the time they wish to spend in the Museum and not miss any important work. They can also plan their visit at home and even adapt it if they are going to make it with children or disabled people. This solution allows them to design the best possible visit.
Álvaro García-Hoz, CEO of Mobile Experience
“Thanks to Aruba, we can offer a unique visitor experience through our Museum Experience app. Visitors can plan their own visit, adapting it to the time they wish to spend in the Museum and not miss any important work. They can also plan their visit at home and even adapt it if they are going to make it with children or disabled people. This solution allows them to design the best possible visit”, describes Álvaro García-Hoz, CEO of Mobile Experience.
Meridian technology helps visitors, represented by a blue dot on the Museum plan, to visit the Museum and guide them to the exhibits chosen providing turn-by -turn directions in the way of GPS. Once in front of the work, you can read or hear about it and its author, as if it were an audio guide. Another of its most outstanding features is that visitors can locate any point of interest in the Museum, from toilets to wheelchair and baby stroller accesses.
The app is configurable to add as many languages as the Museum requires, so it automatically detects the visitor’s device language, providing all the information and contents in the same language. At the Academy Museum it is available in English and Spanish. The same application supports all languages and access to information is universal, regardless of the visitor’s language.
Valuable information for the Museum
This Aruba Networks technology based solution not only has benefits for visitors, but it also provides valuable information for Museum curators to learn about visitor behavior. The information generated includes flows of people, as well as their level of interest in the collection, the most-visited works, the time spent visiting the exhibition, etc.
As García-Hoz points out: “Knowing which are the favorite paintings or the most popular itineraries allows us to create new ones to help visitors discover unknown parts of the Museum. In the same way, this information helps to improve operational efficiency, facilitating crowd control and access management. These are data you would not get through a survey, so they are even more interesting”.
Another of the features most valued by Museum curators is the possibility to immediately update all the changes in the exhibition room that could affect the itineraries in the application. Therefore, temporary exhibitions can be included in the app, to make the visit as complete as possible and always updated.
“We are very proud of this project, now we have managed to make the Museum’s services accessible to everybody, thanks to which visitors have a more interactive and practical experience. So we have shown that joining art and state-of-the art technology has been a great decision”, highlights Mercedes González de Amezúa.
Remote management and control for all types of locations
The Museum Experience app supported by Aruba technology is able to remotely manage the beacons, activating or disabling them, as well as analyzing the messages they emit. It can control the proper functioning of the technology or detect if any beacon has been moved or removed, as well as provide detailed reports to Museum curators.
This technology can be deployed not only in museums, but in any kind of public location such as hotels, hospitals, shopping centers, airports, stations and even corporate campuses. They can provide services such as customized itineraries, location of shops or points of interest (toilets, ATMs, etc.), connection with additional services such as car parks or cinemas, location of children or even messages with made-to-measure promotions. Used together with the Aruba Wireless network, Mobile Engagement technology can mean great advantages for them all, permitting the centralized management of the beacon deployment.
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