Wireless in the Galleries, And Then?

Sam Quigley, USA

Published paper: Extending the Visitor Experience with Wi-Fi at the Art Institute of Chicago

Having made the big investment to provide unfettered wireless connectivity in all its public spaces, the Art Institute of Chicago has now geared up to digitally activate its visitors and their experience of the museum. The prioritization process and resource allocation was both energizing and agonizing, touching a broad array of possible technologies, and an equally diverse range of attitudes held by stakeholders about what usage should be supported. Initially, free wireless offerings include the Art Institute of Chicago Tours app with turn-by-turn wayfinding support which is achieved by leveraging indoor positioning services. Wi-Fi as a utility opens the future up for other content delivery and of course, full access to social media channels. This article provides a window on what decisions were been made, what went into those deliberations, what has been deployed, and indications of future developments.