On May 2, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art announced a new mobile app geared toward providing visitors with a more interactive experience. When the facility reopens after a three-year expansion on May 14, the app will be available for download on iOS, and it promises to provide guidance through the museum and its works of art.
Recently, SFMoMA spent $305 million on an expansion, which will deliver three times more gallery space to visitors. As a part of a new digital strategy, SFMoMA created its app with a local startup called Detour and Apple. The project, which began back in 2015, is designed to provide a more immersive museum experience.
Specifically, this means that visitors don't have to click around the app as they stroll through the museum to learn about the art. Instead, the app utilizes location-aware technology to provide the stories visitors want to hear while standing near certain pieces of art. As SFMoMA explains, this will encourage people to look more "intently at the art" and "less at their screens."
For some added pop, SFMoMA involved a number of notable figures to act as audio guides in the app, including Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani. Members of the San Francisco Giants also a play a role in guiding visitors through the museum. Visitors who want to learn more about specific works of art will be able to tap into hundreds of 60- to 90-second audio reflections from other composers, comedians, artists and playwrights.
Audio can be synced for group listening, meaning that visitors who are touring with friends and family can stay on the same page (or artwork) as they walk through the museum together. On-demand audio, video and activities are triggered according to a visitor's location at the facility, and the app addresses both indoor and outdoor points of interest. At the end of the visit, users can access a shareable visual log, which notes audio tracks and photos taken throughout the walk.
An Android version of the app will be launched in the future. Until then, visitors can use their own iOS device or rent one from the museum for $6 to utilize the app.