CloudGuide's Blog

TBA21 joins CloudGuide launching their new app today

BY Azucena Lozano

Cloudguide is proud to announce that Viennese TBA21 has just launched their new app with us this week. This innovative, contemporary gallery is now showing a solo exhibition by Carsten Höller, LIEBEN, which is a highly recommended experience that has been prolongued until January, 4th due to the success of visitors.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary is collaborating with Belvedere, Vienna, to bring a selected bunch of pieces from the Höller universe to offer unexpected moments, a diferent kind of logic, as curator Daniela Zyman refers. We are allowed, and invited, to sleep in an elevated bed available for overnight booking, to float for a while in the Psycho Tank, or to take a walk in the Augarten gardens sourrounded by giant hybrid mushrooms... A must to be underlined on the Vienna Art Week visitors agenda, who will find in TBA21 a chance to fight conventionnal knowledge and utilitarian rationality at the same time. It is fair to say that, in just a decade, the consistent focus on exciting, cutting edge art discourse has transformed Vienna Art Week from a high-profile network of art experts into an internationally recognized arts festival.

Along with this joyful radical change, technological tools have come to make closer and more accesible the understanding of arts, and some institutions have accepted the challenge to help their audiences to be engaged and play an active role.

TBA21 is one of this fully aware example that commitment and passion to arts fits both visitors and professionals, just like we think in Cloudguide.

Will ibeacons change the user experience in museums?

BY Azucena Lozano

Cloudguide is deploying ibeacons technologies to museums with very good results. We think the audience will find in them the possibility to interact in the rooms in a highly ludic and attractive way, but what are we talking about when we refer Ibeacons?

This technology involves an indoor geolocalization system that send out proximity signals to our smartphone by Bluetooth, so we may receive specific content without needing QR codes or additional downloads. The applications in sectors such as retail, turism and creative industries (videogames, cultural institutions) are rising fast thanks to the welcome audience is showing to this ibeacons development, as far as they may get notifications, promotions, different payment options when shopping, or additional information as the availability of a product, a wi-fi connection in the shop or even linking the official app. As an example, if we are members of a customer loyalty program, the shopper assistant may know what we use to buy them and offer an special discount based on our likes in past adquisitions. It’s a real world of possibilities.

When we implement this technology to museum sector, this possibilities we were talking are no fewer nor smaller. Besides finding us indoors and identifying exactly our position in the tour (that’s an interesting point when we visit huge museum buildings), it is important to remark that we may focus and enjoy artpieces without following any guide, audioguide or app: information about the pieces will come to us, no searching. There have been diferent experiences with clue games, so funny for kids and not-so-kids people, which have been developed by museums as Rubens House in Antwerp, or the New Museum in New York, that includes educative apps as extra contents. The access to the Activities Agenda, a link to join the Friends of the Museum Association or the gifgt shop, are also availables.

Cloudguide is developing this possibilities already in Barcelona, in collaboration with The Modern Museum of European Art MEAM, as a pioneer in this experience.

We will be soon posting more information about this pilot program that is being so joyful to us. Please keep on reading our blog!

Apps for kids. How to manage leisure, technology and education

BY Azucena Lozano

The new school year comes as usual with old doubts about how to  integrate the use of mobile technology in everyday’s kids routine. Those questions related to access limitation, or how to define the máximum time available per day or  the most convenient contents for kids are common in parents concerned to the fact that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) may become great allies in their kids education. But they feel, by the other hand, that these newcomers should not invade leisure times with family, in the playground or substitute tradicional reading media.

Mobile learning, which is the learning base on mobile devices, is considered done of the emerging technologies that will impact education in the following years, as The Horizon ib 2012 states.

One of the advantages that Mobile learning has is that it makes possible outdoor learning, anywhere, anytime. The student becomes proactive as he or she may create, publish and share their own knowledge as he or she takes benefit form the knowledge generate by others, as a contribution to a ciclic process that enriches enormously the experience in learning.

The apps developed for museums, libraries  and cultural organizations to suplement the educational base program are in this sense, eficient tools to be taken into account. The experience children have when discovering masterpieces in the museum galleries may be deployed in a play-oriented and simuoltaneously pedagogic way, by using the app to deepen and reinforce the non-formal learning as children natural curiosity for the new is rewarded toguether with the exploration of new contents and the adquisition of pedagogical skills.  That’s why the apps that enables users to create, share and edit are extremely useful.

There are specialized websites and blogs to guide those parents who, concerned by the need to choose quality within the increasing supply, are looking for some orientation. In any case, as usual, common sense and the knowledge of your kid educational requirements are the best guidance.

Participatory Culture and Museums 2.0

BY Azucena Lozano

Nina Simon, author of 2010 reference text The Participatory Museum, is a well know  adviser of institutions which are interested on focusing their mission to 2.0 patterns and reconnecting with the public to demonstrate their value and relevance in contemporary life. In this post, we would like to introduce some hints of her interesting and necessary, in our opinion, approach of this way of understanding Culture.

Towards this goal, we have already begun to examine in some others past posts how this active participation of the onlooker is becoming something stronger than a tendency to become an undeniable fact which shows the necessity of the spectator to leave the traditional passive role as consumer to assume a new model  of behavior and attitude closer to what is called Prosumer, in other words, producer and consumer as an inextricable link.

Simon invite us to think on how and when the museums started to join this logics due to the new social context we are involved, and which kind of devises or premises they are following according to the need of stablishing bridges with their audiences.

Nevertheless, it is usual a kind of confusion between new technologies and Real Change. As Seb Chan, Smithsonian Director for new media department states, while innovation is a synonym for social change and new cultural aspirations, the concept technology is not always implicated with real change. It is necessary the, to take into account the different profiles of our general publics. As Simon said in her The Participatory Museum, we shall observe what our visitors do in our museum and after that, planning how do we want to dialogue with them.

But challenging these assumptions here, in our state context is a bit more complex. Citizens from USA, which are the basis of consideration for her thesis, are more willing to participate directly and actively on projects involving communities because of cultural reasons. Our reality is quite different so the challenge is greater. But this same reality is what encourage us to recognize that little changes are neccesaries and usually precedes bigger ones.

To modify the perception our publics have about our museums and culture centers to make it understood as an open space for community creation is something tgat requires time and great efforts, but is as well the results of a well done work on a transformation in the way museum directors lead institutional  management. 

But this topic, management leadership in cultural institutions is a fat content enough for a next post that, I am sure, It wont last to arrive.

More info at:

Knowing the audiences, the challenge for the XXI Century

BY Azucena Lozano

It look quite impossible to define the reasons why visitors goes to Spanish museums. There has been an increase in absolut numers from 2012 in big public institutions that seems to be an unstoppable trend which remains, however, indecipherable. The truth is that there are effective management tolos to provide some lights on that misterious things called Audience Studies, althought the incognita is the evident lack of interest of these institutions on the design, implementation and evaluation of  audience-related politics  despite the need thay have to find a helping analytic tool to draw a face on their potential users.

In Spain, Audience studies appeared in the eighties as an spontaneus response of the museum profesionals to the need to know the visitors profile. Most of these studies didn’t have enought cientific conditions required, but their release are are a sympthom of this new reality museums were to face.

In the nineties, the number of spanish museums which were involved in this kind of investigations, evaluations and general explorations was grown until, around 2008, the Spanish Ministery of Culture created the called Permanent Laboratory of Museum Audiences, a public institution which collect constantly and periodically, rellevant datas and informations  on public museums audiences,  to provide better management tools throught research, continuing training and communication.

Nevertheless, althought this growing tendence, there is no evidence of any permanent and scientific valid system thats provides  updated and rellevant information in this área. The absence of specifics departments in any public museum is the indication of a difference between spanish and, e.g. londonier Tate Gallery, heading the most efficent efforts on facing this challenge when they lead the way from the marketing department, in the eighties, launching cuantitative studies to improve their marketing campaigns to a proper objetive audience.

Following with the example of Tate gallery as a pioneer in this área, we should note the study they carried out ten years ago, in 2004, which focused on cualitative indicators introducing values as motivation, emotions, and so, to get to the conclusión that traditional marketing tools was starting to get too short to face the change was happening in audiences, and in society as well. To avoid boring details, conclusions shown with an example that the same person could have different motivation everytime he or she comes to an exhibition, depending on the context, the day or the partners he or she choose as companion. And this is a radical change on the way we plan communication strategies as well as the programmes or services we offer as complementary facilities. They re-oriented their policies to define  new objetives:  base audiences and developing audiences.

This new fact is shown in on the actual business model core at the Tate: knowledge and comprehension of audiences is the goal for the future.

By the other hand, beside these useful audience studies, we should pay attention to new tools provided by new technologies, which are available for all-kind-of-budgets institutions and help in the same way to analyse data. The statistics provided by software such as mobile apps may help institutions to redefine targets inclouding personal profiles or interests, as well as likes and dislikes once the visitor has entered the exhibition. These kind of information is really helpful to display that face of the visitor we need to improve our communication startegies.

Supported by

Booking Booster
European Commission Seal of Excellence
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Techstars Paris