Context is King: Using Indoor Location Technology for new Visitor Experiences

Kyle Jaebker, Indianapolis Museum of Art, USA, Gray Bowman, Indianapolis Museum of Art, USA

Published paper: Context is king: Using indoor-location technology for new visitor experiences

As smartphones have become more advanced and more prevalent in our society, the possible applications for these devices have increased exponentially. These new applications are often all about context and providing that to the user. The Global Positioning System (GPS) has allowed location context to be established when a user has access to the sky. While this method of gathering location information is suitable for outdoor environments, indoor-location awareness has taken a longer road to maturation. From Wi-Fi implementations to Visible Light Communications (VLC) to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), technology is starting to become cost-effective and robust enough to handle indoor-location applications.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), with support from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), is undertaking a research project to evaluate the capabilities of BLE for providing location context indoors. The IMA is investigating the feasibility of two applications for indoor-location awareness, providing the user with contextually aware data, and providing the museum with analytics about the user.