I spent four days in Paris in June. Between wine pairings and cheese plates, I spent most of my time between the Louvre and the Musee D’Orangerie. The Mona Lisa, Madonna on the Rocks, Nefertiti’s crown jewels, David and Goliath, Monet’s Nymphéas (best known as his Waterlilies series), and a variety of portraits of women by Picasso greeted me every day.
As a museum and gallery junkie, they are the first stops when visiting a new city. I’ve seen every type of museum: high tech, low tech, interactive, immersive, technology-embracing, and technology-phobic. To my delight, both galleries embraced technology at every step.
Comparatively, the Louvre and the Musee D’Orangerie are polar opposites yet both immerse their visitors with a variety of technology integrations. The Louvre is the world’s largest museum, ranked second globally for visitors, and is one of the focal points of Paris, housing nearly 35,000 pieces which are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres. MIT worked with the Louvre to document visitor patterns using Bluetooth technologies to document their user journeys. While the Louvre has a fantastic mobile application to use for a guide, they have partnered with Nintendo to utilize their 3DS XL devices to create an interactive experience that integrates maps, 3D and HD photos, and quizzes with the already expansive audio guide. Additionally, MIT worked with the Louvre to document visitor patterns using Bluetooth technologies to analyze their user journeys.
On the other hand, the Musee D’Orangerie has less than 5,000 works in its collection, which move between a variety of institutions. As you purchase a ticket, you are guided to download their app or pick up an iPad which acts as your own personal tour guide. The adult version comes in ten languages, including French/American sign language. The family version has five films, a dozen games, and animations for each room of the gallery. The Musee D’Orangerie has also created a virtual visit of Monet’s Nymphéas for those unable to visit the museum.