Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney launches smart phone apps, new website

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Wednesday 21 March 2012.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney launches smart phone apps, new website image

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is pleased to announce the launch of its new website and smart phone apps. These technological developments will effectively enhance the Museum’s core activities and use innovative technology to improve and enrich visitors’ experience before, during and after their visit to the MCA.

The website’s new look and feel has been designed by Interaction Consortium, in collaboration with Zumio and Toben, to reflect the MCA’s new visual identity and new wing. The website will provide a fully integrated e-commerce experience and artfully engage with all visitors to the site. Improvements include easy navigation and extensive online content for research and learning, dynamic pages featuring artist and MCA staff voices, ‘what’s on’ pages featuring the latest news and events, and many stimulating digital excursion options.

The website’s e-commerce feature offers exhibitions and events ticketing, the purchase of MCA store products and membership fees and donations online to an international audience. To add to this, the MCA team and Interaction Consortium have developed a range of Cloud-based APIs enabling immediate transverse benefits between the e-store, e-membership and e-ticketing to facilitate a compelling, integrated user experience. As Interaction Consortium Founder and Director Greg Turner says, “you can become an MCA member from your phone anywhere in the world, and all the Museum’s systems will know immediately, so the next time you walk into the shop or buy tickets from MCA’s ticketing provider, you are already a member.” The e-store and e-membership will be available from 29 March.

The website will be hosted by the MCA’s online partner Telstra Business using the Telstra Cloud. This enables the website to grow seamlessly in line with changing demand for MCA’s online services.

Developed with two of the world’s top smart phone app makers, Acoustiguide and Tristan Interactive, the Museum’s new app, MCA Insight, provides digital interpretation for the MCA Collection and all temporary exhibitions, including the opening exhibition Marking Time. In partnership with the WiFi technology provider Aruba Networks, the MCA has developed a location awareness system for MCA Insight which gives users access to information on the artworks around them, wherever they are in building. The app also provides an interactive map of the Museum and multiple tours of artworks and exhibitions, and will be freely available in the Android Marketplace and iTunes store via the website: http://www.mca.com.au/apps

During their visit, guests can collect works from MCA exhibitions to create their own online gallery. This gallery is both a digital representation of their visit and a place for further investigation, with long form content about artists and works. This project is a key part of a museum-wide interpretation strategy that connects wall labels, MCA Insight, the MCA Collection online and the user’s own gallery, to extend the Museum experience. The app also has a listing of the day’s events within the Museum, upcoming highlights and visitation information. MCA Digital Media Manager Keir Winesmith says “through an exciting collaboration with our technology partners, we have developed an integrated system that allows visitors to really explore the works they discover on our walls during, or after, their visit.”

Working with Kinesic, the MCA has also developed an augmented reality app called MCA OnSite. The app, which runs on Apple iOS, Android, smart phones and tablets, allows users to discover interactive content triggered by an image in a magazine, brochure, book or within the MCA. MCA OnSite can overlay video, alternate imagery or 3D models and animations onto any image, in any context. Keir Winesmith says “we have created a 3D model of the Museum that you can view from any angle and at any size. It appears as if by magic right above an architectural rendering of the building; it is an amazing way to experience the new wing”. This app will also be available for free on Android and Apple iOS.

Both apps will be available for free download from 29 March, when the Museum reopens.

To learn more about the new MCA website and apps, please visit: http://www.mca.com.au

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