How the Rijksmuseum app and beacon network enhanced its visitor experience

Rijksmuseum
Country: Netherlands
City: Amsterdam
Institution Type: Art
Year Founded: 800
Content Type: Multimedia
Tour Type: Adult
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Client profile

The Rijksmuseum, located in Amsterdam, is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. Designed by Pierre Cuypers, the museum opened in its current location in 1885. The museum underwent a major renovation in 2003, and after reopening its doors, it became the most visited museum in the Netherlands with nearly 3 million people visiting each year.

The museum most notably displays masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and many more.

Challenge

The Rijksmuseum underwent a 10-year renovation and along with the renovation came a need for a new tour experience. The new museum layout would be pristine, with the artwork and artifacts as the single display. The overall aesthetic of the new museum would be clean and refined, and there would be no room for visual distractions such as physical displays or overly distracting signage. The museum sought a tour user experience that was completely interactive and personal.

The museum partnered with a third-party agency to create multimedia content and needed support to take that content and place it into an application and device with seamless user experience. This would require application design from existing content, a user-friendly interface, and a process in which the museum could handle technical logistics and quality assurance.

With a walking distance throughout the entire museum totalling 1.5 kilometers, or 0.9 miles in 80 galleries, the dependence on the devices would be high. These would be the only means of information throughout the site and therefore, would need to be powered entirely throughout the guest experience.

Solution

As the main vehicle for visitor interpretation of the art, Antenna provided the Rijksmuseum with 2,000 fully loaded touch-screen devices, onsite staffing, and a beacon network.

These beacons use proximity technology to recognize human presence nearby and trigger pre-loaded content to be sent to the visitor’s touch-screen device. This would help direct visitors and guide them around the museum on preset tour routes.

Because the devices would be in constant use, for a 3-4 hour on average experience, Antenna provided a logistical solution and staffing to the museum to ensure devices would be put in proper rotation so every guest would experience a fully charged device.

Antenna collaborated with the third party app developer to ensure proper installation and a seamless beacon experience throughout the museum.

Outcome

Following the museums 2013 reopen, the Rijksmuseum welcomed nearly 2.5 million visitors in 2014 – a new record.

Visitors of the museum still leave positive reviews of the museum tour app/device rental experience in 2018:

  • “The Rijks app is descriptive. It’s Bluetooth enabled and helps you navigate through the entire place quite conveniently.” Visitor, India 2018
  • “Free audio guide with Bluetooth to help pinpoint your location to follow around. The audio guide has various tours you can follow based on your focus. We walked the Highlights and also the Rembrandt works. It was very enjoyable” Visitor, Hong Kong 2018
  • “The WiFi & app are very user-friendly.” Visitor, U.S. 2018

Contact us to find out more about this or any of our other projects.

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About Us

We are innovative storymakers and creative technologists devoted to visitor-first experiences.

We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

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