One of the initial problems was the lack of audio guides and museum guides. Museum tours were conducted by volunteers when possible. This App enables users to visit the museum without the need for a guide and innovation serves the dual purpose of increasing the appeal of such a small museum in order to attract more visitors. Famous museums like the Louvre or the Egyptian Museum of Turin must keep up with the times but this is even more important for a small, relatively unknown museum like the Ecomuseum.
The main objective, as is the case of all ecomuseums, is that of representing a culture in it entirety and this new App will open the museum to a much wider public.
Work began on this prototype in July 2016 and the objectives were as follows:
Develop a innovative solution using indoor tracking;
Improve museum appeal and accessibility as well as visitor satisfaction and experience;
Provide a personalised tour according to user age (differentiate the experience for adults and children).
The HerA project began in 2016 thanks to a working project between Università della Valle d’Aosta – Université de la Vallée d’Aoste and some local businesses with the aim of supporting young researchers and funded by European funds. This then lead to a partnership between Touchware, Università della Valle d’Aosta, Everyware and Regola. Additional actors are Gressoney-La-Trinité Town Council and TurismOk.
The prototype is initially geared towards:
Future users are as follows:
This innovative App can be used in all museums and used time and time again even after the museum visit is over.
The project was divided into 4 phases:
The innovative idea of this technological App is based on indoor localisation suited to museum and archaeological sites. It uses indoor navigation and user tracking to provide interactive contextualised information.
HerA enhances the museum experience for visitors by ensuring that their visit is highly personalised and interactive and also provides additional information as required. It is a avant-garde museum experience which is constantly updated and provides useful information about the museum and ecomuseums and also about the surrounding area ( events, restaurants etc).
Using this App, it is also possible to monitor the flow of tourists. Tickets can also be bought using the App. Another significant advantage is the ability to constantly monitor and update temperature and humidity.
Hera is now looking to the future. The first objective is that of promoting the App beyond Aosta Valley and the second is that of improving and enhancing user experience regarding both App and mobile App backend.
A second website which focuses specifically on the product has been created in order to promote marketing and communication. This is a sort of a shop window which highlights the characteristics of the product and its competitive edge in order to launch this innovative museum App onto the national and European market.
Continuing improvements are the core of this product and Touchware is working constantly to ensure that this tool is updated with the latest technology to become a leader in the market of digital services for museums.