Te Papa will add another dimension to the museum’s interpretative material with the introduction of a prototype hand-held exhibition guide.
The Mobile Exhibition Guide (MEG) provides visitors with in-depth information corresponding to the exhibits they are viewing. It compliments Te Papa’s existing interpretative media, and takes the visitors deeper into the exhibition narrative and collection histories by presenting a range of audio and visual media such as moving and still images, with narration throughout the experience and interviews with curators.
The MEG will be trialled for a period of three months in the Made in New Zealand: ko au te whenua, te whenua ko au, stories of art and identity exhibition. The pilot tour will be approximately 30 minutes in length and will be formally evaluated against a number of communication objectives and technical criteria.
‘The introduction of personal electronic interpretation devices is something that is being trialled very successfully by museums internationally, including the J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles and the Tate Modern in London’, said Te Papa Chief Executive Seddon Bennington. ‘The museum audience of today demands more information delivered using innovative, high-tech approaches and the MEG delivers on this.’
The MEG has been developed as part of the Microsoft New Zealand Innovation Centre initiative, designed to help accelerate the progress of technology projects for public sector agencies and foster innovation in this sector.
The MEG is based on Te Papa founding sponsors Hewlett Packard’s iPAQ 4150 Pocket PC. Innovation Centre partners, and Hewlett Packard have provided the software, hardware and expertise to make this possible.
The MEG prototype is available to museum visitors in Made in New Zealand only. If successful, Te Papa will look at the introduction of this form of interpretive device in selected exhibitions throughout the museum.