Starting in the 1990s, the need to digitize and publish collections online drove the first generation of museums on the web to get the information onto the Internet so it was accessible anytime from anywhere. “2.0” technologies allowed museums to move from broadcast to conversational modes, using social media to create new kinds of global communities and collaborations, and museums saw an increasing percentage of their Internet visits coming from mobile devices. In response, the Smithsonian defined their initial mobile strategy as “recruit the world” to help accomplish meaningful work and outreach through today’s nearly ubiquitous mobile devices at a scale never before possible. The irony of the latest generation of mobile technologies is that the most advanced applications return to museums the pre-Internet importance of place: new location-based technologies such as augmented reality and computer vision usually require the participant to be in a very specific location in order to enjoy the full digital experience.

In this session, you’ll learn how, with its new mobile strategy, the Smithsonian aims to “be there”—wherever its audiences and participants are, both literally and metaphorically—with immersive digital experiences that “meet them where they are, and take them some place new.”