The National Museum Goes Hi-Tech with MyMuseum
June 28, 2011
The De La Salle University – Manila students in cooperation with the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have developed a hi-tech software to enable visitors to experience the National Museum’s National Art Gallery in a different light.
MyMuseum, a mobile museum guide developed by Computer Science students from De La Salle University, is a software application that recommends museum items for viewing via HTC Viva Mobile Handsets. Not your run-of-the-mill audio guide, the mobile guide brings something more to the table for museum visitors. It provides interactive android capabilities similar to most cellular phones used today. With features such as Search Art button, where guests can type in their favorite artist or piece, it paves the way for a more interactive learning environment. For visitors who would like to see certain art pieces such as Juan Luna’s Spoliarium or Una Bulaqueña, there is an interactive map that highlights where each item is located. Aside from these, it also provides the narrative audio tour found in all audio museum guides.
Currently, the program is specifically tailored for the National Art Gallery although there are future products envisioned for the remaining 18 branches, including the Museum of the Filipino People and the Planetarium.
Dr. Merlin Teodosia Suarez, project leader of “Towards Developing Mobile Museum Guides”, notes, “The project took a year to finish and a few refinements took about three to six months. We are grateful to the National Museum and for providing us the support.” The project was a collaborative effort with the National Museum’s Museum Education Division which aims to provide educational public programs, and the Arts Division which is dedicated to promote Philippine visual arts.
Asked if further collaborations were a possibility, Dr. Suarez quips, “Our hope is to enhance further whatever we delivered. We are looking at other pipeline projects with digital content for the museum with the possibility of developing games that are cultural heritage based.”
Guests will be able to avail of these mobile guides in the near future as the museum is working to procure more of these devices for public consumption.
The National Museum of the Philippines is going through restructuring and restoration of its facilities. Under the watch of Dir. Jeremy Barns, the National Museum has paved the way to become a model museum for the 21st century. (C. Tugade)