It is widely known that the Internet of Things is already widespread in commercial and industrial settings, but it is also widely adopted in various public institutions, such as museums and art galleries, which are important institutions that are intimately connected with the cultural fabric of cities, communities and societies. There are over 35,000 museums in the US alone, the Washington Post reported. Museums contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted about 850 million visitors in 2019, according to the American Alliance of Museums. The public’s interest in maintaining these historical and cultural centers and creating innovative experiences has driven museum facility managers and curators to adopt a variety of IoT applications. This article introduces IoT in museums, Museums’ Internet of things is very powerful to protect important artifacts and materials. In addition, it can be used to collect and analyze the data provided by visitors, resulting in data-driven insights that drive the freshness, adaptability, and appeal of the museum technology experience.
7 ways to use IoT in museum technology
The implementation of the Internet of Things, combined with the data generated by visitors, can help museum managers identify areas that need improvement, such as previously unknown barriers to visitor flow. Data collected from IoT devices can provide managers with walking traffic maps to analyze speed patterns and identify bottlenecks.
Look at seven IoT solutions that smart museums and galleries are using:
1. Artifact Preservation
Historical artifacts are tend to be sensitive to small fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and light. Prolonged exposure to heat, humidity, fluorescent lights and sunlight can cause a variety of problems such as warping, decay, shrinkage, and fading. Before IoT sensors, monitoring environmental conditions was a laborious task. Museum officials have no clear recourse to improve control systems and make timely adjustments, leaving these priceless artifacts at risk of damage.
Museum technology are now able to collect and analyze critical environmental data such as humidity, lighting, and temperature in real time by integrating IoT temperature and humidity sensors into display and storage architectures. Using this data, staff can precisely adjust the humidity, temperature and lighting of exhibits, thus reducing the frequency of restoration projects and protecting precious cultural relics.
2. Leak Detection
Whether it’s condensation, air conditioning leaks, leaks from groundwater or pipes, it can have devastating effects on museums and galleries.
Leak Detection solutions alert facility managers at the first sign of a leak so they can take remedial action. For example, temperature and humidity sensors can be placed on wall ducts close to the display area, or on the periphery of particularly sensitive areas. Temperature and humidity sensors can be installed at the top of floor-to-ceiling tiles to provide early warning of leaks from upper floors, pipes, roof, ensuring quick intervention to avoid flooding throughout the exhibition or gallery.
3. Artifact Management and Security
More than 50,000 works of art are stolen worldwide each year, with a street value of between $6 billion and $8 billion a year. Therefore, maintaining the safety of the museum is of paramount importance. As below are many ways to help keep museums safe with the IoT solutions.
In the smart museum, IoT sensors connected to doors, windows, and cultural relics display cases can immediately remind the museum of security when opened and closed to detect and prevent intrusions. Motion and vibration sensors could also be installed in and around works of art that would sound alarms, mute or other signals if they were touched, signaling to museum staff that a theft might have occurred.
Individual Artwork Tracking
With near-field communication and Bluetooth low-power beacons, IoT sensors is able to track artworks wherever they go and provide critical data about their condition. Moreover, it also help prevent theft with real-time status monitoring.
PIR sensors enable museum guards to secure the museum after closure, sending real-time alerts of irregular movement to the main security center for instant action.
4. Interactive Exhibits
There are over 35,000 museums in the United States, so artists and exhibitors must bring something unique to ensure high attendance, increased membership and more revenue. Museums, galleries, and artists, are utilizing IoT devices to improve the interaction of their exhibits, from collecting virtual objects to plan personalized exhibition routes for visitors through interactive maps, and even allowing artists to create unique installations.
The Internet of Things is also being used to create interactive exhibitions and events through wearable technology. The Children’s Museum of Houston, for example, has a spy-themed scavenger hunt. RFID technology linked to players’ wristbands are used by the scavenger hunt to track participants’ location and progress.
In addition, when the IoT beacon detects someone standing next to the exhibits, detailed information about the exhibits will be sent to visitors’ mobile phones through notification to help them better understand the information of the museum’s cultural relics.
5. Visitor Behaviour
From the viewer’s point of view, the appeal of the exhibition depends on two characteristics: the uniqueness of the exhibits and the popularity of the artists. Presence detection sensors can help curators get a better idea of which areas of a gallery draw the most visitors and which works of art get the most attention. These sensors provide real-time data on how long different rooms and specific artworks stay, providing insight into the level of interest in curated exhibitions. Similarly, wireless IoT sensors that can measure a visitor’s resting heart rate and breathing rate from a distance can indicate a physical response to certain artworks. Does the visitor’s heart rate increase when he sees the device? Novel, adaptable and engaging museum experiences can be improved by utilizing This information.
6. Guest Comfort
As with any business that attracts and hosts visitors, ensuring the safety, comfort and health of our guests is essential. Indoor environmental quality monitoring and temperature and humidity levels using IoT sensors are key to ensuring that these Spaces breathe clean air, with ambient temperature and humidity, noise quality and light being the best choice for visitor comfort. Similarly, with the help of wireless IoT sensors, museum staff can proactively monitor shortages of consumables like paper towels, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer to ensure instant replenishment.
7. Convenient facilities control
There are many devices in the museum, and there are several kinds of lighting alone. The smart socket of the Internet of Things can connect all the devices, including lighting, and remotely control different lighting in specific time periods and scenes, creating a high-tech feeling and enhancing the experience of visitors.
A famous use case for the IoT in museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City deploy a batch of wireless sensors to help protect its vast collection of medieval and Byzantine art In 2011. These pieces of work are pretty sensitive to small fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Prolonged exposure to high humidity and temperatures above room temperature can cause all sorts of problems like warping, shrinkage, and even decay. Until IoT sensors are implemented, museum officials have no clear way to improve them.
The museum is able to collect and analyze environmental data in real time by integrating IoT sensors into a storage and display architecture. Being able to monitor enable officials to precisely adjust exhibits’ humidity and temperature, thus reduce the frequency of restoration projects and protect priceless artifacts. The Met has since expanded its IoT infrastructure to other historical objects and sensitive collections, including sculptures, tapestries, paintings, etc.
IoT devices in Museums
Advances in technology have become increasingly important to museum operations and visitor experiences all over the world in recent years. Technology has diverse applications in the museum ecosystem from providing curating visitor journeys, immersive digital interactions, improving wayfinding and simplifying operations. It is essential for museums to keep up with the latest trends in technology than ever before. MOKOSmart from medical, warehouse, retail, to museum, we all inject keen insight to develop innovative museum technology, allowing us to understand the latest technology being integrated into the museum environment. Here are six technologies we are integrating into the project.
1) Personalized/wearable devices:
Through RFID bracelets, cards, or badges that activate chips and other technologies worn on the body, we create a stronger connection between the the story and visitor. Providing a personal link deepens the visitor’s understanding and gives them a greater resonance with the narrative. RFID technology, for example, makes personalized scavenger hunts possible. We are currently developing such an interactive program at multiple museums where visitors can use their lab cards to participate in scientific discoveries that advance the understanding of genetics and genetics.
2) Social distance tracker:
Given the current COVID-19 crisis and heightened risk of infection, apps and other technologies that maintain safe social distancing are likely to be welcome. As these technologies become cheaper, they also improve their sensitivity and accuracy, which will attract more visitors back to museums.
3) Proximity marketing techniques:
Museum proximity technology is not new, but now museums are exploring how to expand and integrate mobile technology for a more customized experience. For example, using mobile technology, museums can offer immersive guided Tours and augmented reality experiences that enrich exhibitions. Mobile ticketing technology simplifies the process, reduces queues and provides contactless payment options.
4) Indoor GPS tracking system:
This increasingly affordable technology is adopted by museums to track activity within their facilities, which allows them to confirm how well storylines are working, get a better idea of stay times and even whether experiences should be modified to help clarify information.
Sensors are the core of the innovation and development of the Internet of Things in museums, and temperature and humidity sensors are widely used in museums because of their ability to protect the integrity and performance of cultural relics.
6) Smart socket：
The more spacious the public space is, the more devices need to be managed. Now, in the era of the Internet of Things, it is unnecessary to spend manpower to operate one by one with the help of remote systems.
MOKOSmart offers an ideal IoT platform solution for museums, enabling institutions to better connect with their customers, enhancing their experience and even providing opportunities for participation. We’ve discussed some innovative and fun ways that MOKOSmart’s IoT museum technology can help museums engage customers more effectively and make the museum experience more enjoyable for the viewer.