CloudGuide's Blog

Agenda CloudGuide Week October 5th-11th

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

 

Here we come again with our CloudGuide Agenda to spot your days with the most interesting and suggestive art events and cultural appointments.

Check what we have chosen this time for you:

  • Why Not Judy Chicago? Is opening next October 8th. Curated by Xabier Arakistain, the exhibition Why Not Judy Chicago? at Azkuna Zentroa presents a selection of works and documents that provide an overview of over 50 years of production by this pioneer of feminist art. By looking at the close relationship between her work as an artist, art educator, and writer, the exhibition proposes a holistic approach to her career, inasmuch as it retains, with the intention of transforming, the different instances that structure art institutions.  
  • Goya. The Portraits is another top exhibition you shouldn’t miss this season at londonier The National Gallery. Striking and often unforgiving, Goya’s portraits demonstrate his daringly unconventional approach and remarkable skill at capturing the psychology of his sitters. It will be opening next Thursday 7th.
  • Danh Vō (Banish the Faceless / Reward your Grace) is the surprise of the week. As it is warned in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía website, Danh Vō utilises 21st-century industrial exhibition typology to portray the unique architecture in the Palacio de Cristal, encapsulating the nostalgia of a nineteenth-century palaeontology and archaeology museum inside a large display cabinet.  But this is just a clue. Find out the whole puzzle at Palacio de Cristal at El Retiro Park in Madrid and you will fall in love with it just like we did!
  • And our last call this time goes to 'Agnes Martin' exhibiton at the Tate, this is the last week to visit it!

Don’t forget to download our app to be updated this all the agenda, cultural guides and much more all over the world, and follow us in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Have a great and arty week with CloudGuide!

 



The European Heritage Days, with CloudGuide

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

 

Every year in September, the 50 signatory States to the European Cultural Convention take part in the European Heritage Days – a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, putting new cultural assets on view and opening up historical buildings normally closed to the public. The cultural events highlight local skills and traditions, architecture and works of art, but the broader aim is to bring citizens together in harmony even though there are differences in cultures and languages.

CloudGuide joins this year this great event as the official app for Generalitat de Catalunya,  proud to be chosen to engage citizens to the awesome agenda of activities that will be taking place next weekend, starting on October the 9th, with one main objective: discovering this powerful and magnificent legacy throught culture and enjoying with it.

Download the app and the guides here http://www.cloudguide.me/ jep2015

 



Agenda CloudGuide Week Sept 28th-Oct 4th

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

 

Without awareness of beauty, innocence and happiness, one cannot make works of art’

This is how we start this week in CloudGuide, a full inspirational thought by Agnes Martin, who will be finishing her exhibition soon at Tate, that we have chosen to bright up our agenda highlights for this weekend. Take a look and enjoy!

 

  • 'Edvard Munch. Love, Death, and Loneliness' is the new exhibition at the Albertina Museum, just opened last week. Known as one of the foremost protagonists of modernism, Edvard Munch’s paintings and graphic works are among the absolute highlights of turn-of-the-century art. This exhibition, featuring around 100 of the Norwegian artist’s most important works, will include icons of his art such as The Scream, Madonna, The Kiss, and Melancholy, as well as works exemplifying his experimental approaches to printed graphics. A must if you are visiting the austrian capital these days.
  • Barcelona welcomes this week a new rendez-vous with art throught the Barcelona Gallery Weekend, the first edition for this event joining some of the most well known galleries at the city. Starting the 1st of October, more than 21 art spaces are opendoors to visitors and artlovers.
  • Have you visited 'Agnes Martin' exhibition yet? The american Agnes Martin is perhaps most recognised for her evocative paintings marked out in subtle pencil lines and pale colour washes. There are only two weeks more to visit her retrospective at Tate.
  • And last but no least of our selected suggestion of the week is a surprise that comes out from one of our CloudGuide partners in Barcelona, Casa Batlló, a modernist top artworks of the world which amazed us last week during Barcelona’s Mercé, the city festivity where art, culture and amusement celebrates together. Just follow the link

 

Don’t forget to download our app to be updated this all the agenda, cultural guides and much more all over the world, and follow us in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



What's about Beacons, NFC and QR's?

BY Joris Van Dyck
CloudGuide

Cultural institutions continually strive to make use of the latest technological developments, finding a balance between level of innovation and appreciation of the pure art. A lot of correct, and less correct, info has been circulating about three wireless technologies related to such fields of innovation, i.e. QR codes, the iBeacon protocol launched by Apple, and the NFC (Near Field Communication) RFID radios. At CloudGuide we often get questions from our clients regarding these technologies, so time to write a post about it and find out who the winner is!

QR codes are a graphical representation - encoding - of any text, such as a URL or any other arbitrary text. They could be considered to be the 3D successors of the 2D bar-codes, which are familiar to everyone. Just like conventional bar-codes, QR codes need a special software, an app, to “see” the text they carry inside. Many people have such QR reader apps installed on their smartphones, but for convenience, the CloudGuide apps include a scanner built-in to the app, under the Scan button in the dashboard. The amount of information that can be contained in one QR code depend on the version of the algorithm and the level of “error-correction” added to the QR code. This error correction algorithm adds extra information to the graphical representation of the QR code so that if part of the code is damaged, it still can be read, enhancing greatly its overall reliability. In any case, the QR codes by CloudGuide do not suffer any of those limitations. Also, due to the special algorithm applied, they can also be scanned by any QR scanner app from outside of the CloudGuide apps, in which case the user will still see relevant information from our landing pages and will be invited to check out all your content by downloading the app from the app stores, giving more leads to your content. QR codes are supported by both the Android and the iOS operating systems, and as you can print them yourself, they virtually incur no cost.

NFC, or Near Field Technology in full, is a conventional radio communication over very short distances, also known as short-distance RFID tags. The tags can be read-only, or some more expensive models can be found that allow the tags to be overwritten multiple times. NFC tags can carry any type of data, including binary, and they can be found in capacities of up to 4 kB. The tags are cheap, think about 1 euro per tag, and do not require any maintenance because the passive tags have no battery. The big problem with NFC is that it is currently only supported by a limited number of Android phones, with no support at all from Apple devices. The irony is that Apple's latest device, the iPhone 6, actually has an NFC radio on board, but only allows its use for the new Apple Pay service. Another characteristic that could be problematic in some installations is the fact that the visitor has to be very close, up to 5 cm maximum distance to the tag to be able to scan it. As CloudGuide statistics show that up to three-fourth of its users are iOS device users, we have decided not to support this technology for now.

Last but not least is the iBeacon protocol, as specified by Apple, with many different brands selling compatible beacons at between 20 and 40 euros, depending on quantity and battery size. The beacons are small hardware radios sold in different sizes and colors, and typically have a battery life of between 1 and 5 years, depending on many factors. CloudGuide recommends beacons from Kontakt.io, as they feature among the best autonomy in the industry, greatly reducing your maintenance costs. The beacons can be hidden behind, under or next to the exhibit and can be configured with a special, free configuration app usually provided by the manufacturer. Of special interest here is the ability to control the transmission power of the beacons, enabling you to reach visitors' devices are distances much further than the very limited 5 cm offered by NFC tags, we think 10 meters would be adequate in many cases. The iBeacon protocol is supported by both Android and iOS operating systems, and configuration guidance is available right from the CMS, where you will find the exact UUID, Major ID and Minor ID – the 3 configuration parameters for each beacon – for each exhibit.

The following table compares some of the most important characteristics:

 QR codesNFC tagsiBeacon beacons
Data size++++++
AutonomyUnlimitedUnlimited2-4 years
Device supportAndroid + iOSAndroidAndroid + iOS
Scan proximity< 15 cm< 5 cm< 200 m
Cost per tagEUR 0EUR 1EUR 25
Market knowlege+++-++

 

And now the big question: which technology is better? First of all, it has to be said that all technologies are different, and eventually serve different needs. However, from the above comparison we can deduct that for cultural institutions and monuments, QR codes and iBeacon technology are more suited, and in spite of the usual rapid changes in technology, they are expected to remain the top favorites for at least 5 more years. Taking such devaluation of technology into account is important to protect your investment, even though, with CloudGuide subscriptions you are inherently protected as they develop with the trends in the market, with no extra charges or new investments. Between QR codes and iBeacon technology we would recommend QR codes for those seeking a low level of innovation, say entry-level, as it basically bears no cost and can be installed in a matter of hours, and for those institutions looking to offer true innovation to their visitors, we would recommend to implement iBeacon technology.

So how can you make use of iBeacon technology or QR codes through CloudGuide? Both technologies are configurable directly from the Content Management System, our renowned platform for managers of cultural institutions and content editors. Support for QR codes is provided free of charge and included with all plans, while iBeacon support can be contracted as an add-on pack to your existing subscription or included in any of our premium subscriptions.

If you would like more information on how CloudGuide can make wireless technologies work for you, do not hesitate to contact your representative.





Agenda CloudGuide Week 14th-20th September

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

 

We are starting this week in high spirits and cheerful to get to every opening, every event and new arrivals to the international art and cultural scene as fortunately, September is crowded with it. Autumn is a full display of great exhibitions and CloudGuide is committed to let you know the best of them in our agenda selection for this week:

  • Is you are visiting the north of Spain, try to get to Santander. This little beautiful city is where you will meet Fundación Botin and Sol Lewitt's 17 Wall Drawings 1970-2015. This is the first time to see most of the drawings, shown in premier, and will be offering visitors a unique view of the stylistic and conceptual development of wall drawing in the artist´s oeuvre. We are sure this would be a exhibition you would love to see more than once! You will have time to do it until next January 2016.
  • May be you will be in New York this week. So this is your chance to jump to the MoMA to meet Picasso, who will bethe guest star at the exhibition Picasso Sculpture, a sweeping survey of the Spanish artist’s innovative and influential work in three dimensions. This will be the first such museum exhibition in the United States in nearly half a century and will be opening next Thursday 18th.
  • Another must-see exhibition will be at Tokyo’s National Art Center, this time a retrospective by Niki de Saint Phalle, as colourful and optimistic as usual. Will open doors next Thursday.
  • And we are already finishing our review with a last call: our suggestion you should not miss this week is in Vienna and the place, the Leopold Museum, where you will be surprised to meet two artist in conversation, two radical creators we would never think to see together. Tracy Emin meets Egon Schiele in Where I want to go, in a fascinating artistic dialogue to draw interesting and not expected parallels.

Our 4 suggestions of the week are over this time. But we are sure we could be writing an endless list of art meeting as September is in this occasion, as we said before, a rentrée month with an extra of quantity and excellence in the overview. So you are invited to make suggestions too! Please feel free to tell us which exhibitions are your fav’s this season using our Social Media channels, Facebook and Twitter, or through our app heart shaped interactive buttom. Remember CloudGuide app is available on iOS and Android.

Have a great and cultural week with CloudGuide!



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