Highlights from the NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Museum Edition

Exhibitor Briefing
Alex Freeman, USA


The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Museum Edition focuses on emerging technology and its applications to museum education and interpretation, and introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use in museums over the next one to five years. This talk will provide an overview of the six emerging technologies and their relevance to museums.


The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlook series are part of the NMC Horizon Project, a comprehensive research venture established in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Museum Edition, examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in education and interpretation within the museum environment. The hope is that the report is useful to museums worldwide, and the international composition of the advisory board reflects the care with which a global perspective was assembled. While there are many local factors affecting the adoption and use of emerging technologies in museums, there are also issues that transcend regional boundaries and questions we all face. It was with these in mind that this report was created. The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Museum Edition is the third in an annual series of museum-focused reports, co-produced by the NMC and the Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts (MIDEA).

The six technologies featured in the NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Museum Edition are placed along three adoption horizons that indicate likely timeframes for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. The near-term horizon assumes the likelihood of entry into the mainstream for museums within the next 12 months; the mid-term horizon, within two to three years; and the far-term, within four to five years. It should be noted at the outset that the NMC Horizon Report is not a predictive tool. It is meant, rather, to highlight emerging technologies with considerable potential for our focus areas of education and interpretation. Each of the six is already the target of work at a number of innovative organizations around the world, and the projects we showcase in the report reveal the promise of a wider impact.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Museum Edition Technologies to Watch:

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

> Mobile Apps

> Social Media

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

> Augmented Reality

> Open Content

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

> The Internet of Things

> Natural User Interfaces