A 'Basic Wireless' manual, belonging to SOE agent Mme Cormeau from wireless training.
One of the problems with R&D digital lifecycles and museum exhibition lifecycles is that they are completely different. The pace of technology change is misaligned with the fiscal, creation, development and installation cycles of museums.
In a climate in which new technology platforms emerge on a weekly basis, there is a dramatic mismatch between the cycle of technology and the long planning cycles that exist for most museums exhibitions. Social Interpretation is no exception. We came in very late to the build of the Family in Wartime exhibition, and it’s fantastic that we could incorporate SI into the exhibition. It looks really good with the time and resource we had available. But it does mean due to this lack of time and resources that a few issues are now cropping up.
This is an interesting use of QR codes and print media in combination. There are a lot of ways this could be adapted to make museum objects really social. And have them, almost literally, talk. And in return have visitors join in that conversation. But you’d need a budget rather bigger than #socialinterp’s.
This Reporters Without Borders advert is a bit gimmicky. But still, fair play, as it’s a hard subject to get people engaged with.
QR Codes are the cause of much debate / argument / kitten killing, both in and outside of Social Interpretation. But why do we need them? What are the different options? And if using QR, what can one do to make them as usable as possible?
Which would do you prefer?
Why this debate at all?
To put it simply, because we want to enable people to use objects (or anything physical) as keys into more information. This might be info about an object, a theme, or maybe a discussion or piece of media. To do this, we need some way to bridge the physical/digital divide.
So what’re our options?
Recruits take a Morse Code test at the RAF Aircrew Reception Centre at St John's Wood, London, 24 September 1942.
As well as having a bit of a bust up about ‘how user centred, this user centred project is’ in a meeting last week, we also had a bit of mental fisty cuffs about the use of QR codes. Are the useful? Are they just a transient technology? Are they even a technology? How do they help visitor experience? Where do they lead the visitor once they have scanned it? And ultimately who actually scans QR codes? Is it just us? We havent really reached any conclusion on this, other than lets stick a giant QR code on IWM and see what people do. I like this idea. Whether or not it will actually happen is another thing.
So I thought I’d link to a few blog posts that have already dealt with the QR question: