September means a lot of things: frantic shopping for textbooks, laptops and lunchboxes; the eventual cooling-down of sweltering city air (around these parts, at least); and the chattering excitement on the interwebs surrounding the unveiling of Apple’s latest products.
Here are three reasons your museum should pay attention to the latest evolution of Apple’s smartphone.
1. With greater screen size come greater demands of interactivity.
The iPhone 6 boasts a bigger and sleeker design, 5.44 inches in length and 2.64 inches in width, belying its slight 2.64 inch thickness. This new permutation comes closer to bridging the gap between the smartphone and tablet, and is less cumbersome to use inside a museum than an iPad.
If the new iPhone looks and feels more like a tablet, visitors will expect to have similar tablet-like experiences. Sure, standard fare like audio guides will now feature bigger and brighter images, but museums will have to get creative and move beyond these experiences to truly engage their users on this powerful new device.
2. Upgraded camera = supercharged #museumselfies.
It’s a well-documented phenomenon that visitors love taking museum selfies. The selfie itself has even reached the highest pillars of government. With the iPhone 6’s faster autofocus, higher resolution and new slow-motion video capabilities, be prepared for more visitors whipping out their smartphones for a snap while touring your collection.
Not comfortable with visitors taking photographs of the collection? Perhaps organize an area in the lobby or gift shop that is set up a selfie station.
Whatever your organization’s current photo policies are, you may want to consider how you can tap into this behavior for your museum’s benefit. If you don’t allow photography in the collection, is there an area in the lobby or gift shop that you can set up as a selfie station? Provide your museum’s twitter handle and Instagram account and voila, you have a new stream of user-generated content to boost your own social media presence.
3. Touch ID, Health App and HomeKit (oh my!)
Along with their new hardware, Apple is releasing a new version of its operating system,iOS 8. The new operating system will allow three significant upgrades to proprietary Apple features:
- TouchID – native fingerprint scanner for user authentication to unlock your phone
- Apple’s Health app – all your disparate fitness and health apps into a single, seamless app.
- HomeKit – integrates with smart electronics, so you can now ask Siri to lock your doors, turn off your lights and adjust your thermostat – all without touching your screen.
So what’s the bottom line for museums? These new integrations are cementing the smartphone as the hub of a user’s life, a pocket-sized dashboard from which they can check in and control almost every aspect of their lives. The smartphone will become an ever-more integral part of every visitor’s life – the time is now to start making mobile experiences an integral part of your museum’s offering.
What new experiences can you offer your visitors to make use their spiffy new smartphones? Schedule your free mobile consult and let us brainstorm with you!