Screenshot Barberini App

The Bar­be­ri­ni App: The inter­ac­ti­ve muse­um gui­de from Pots­dam for Potsdam

Digi­ti­sa­ti­on and art: a per­fect match! The Bar­be­ri­ni Muse­um in Pots­dam shows us the way - and rea­ches pre­do­mi­nant­ly young peo­p­le whe­re they tend to be the­se days. On the web. The muse­um is thus taking on a pio­nee­ring role here. Visi­tors are gui­ded through inter­ac­ti­ve worlds via apps. But what does the inter­ac­tion look like?

Gre­at value is pla­ced on the digi­tal pro­ces­sing of each indi­vi­du­al exhi­bi­ti­on at the Pots­dam cul­tu­ral insti­tu­ti­on which only just ope­ned in the recon­s­truc­ted Palais Bar­be­ri­ni on 20 Janu­ary, 2017. That’s not sur­pri­sing given that the Ger­man soft­ware entre­pre­neur Has­so Platt­ner, the foun­der of SAP, was the patron of the recon­s­truc­tion and respon­si­ble for the art collection. 

Visi­tors can alre­a­dy down­load the free Bar­be­ri­ni App in advan­ce and recei­ve a wealth of back­ground infor­ma­ti­on about the muse­um. The award-win­ning mul­ti­me­dia gui­de puts the apps of major muse­ums such as the Muse­um of Modern Art or the Metro­po­li­tan Muse­um in the sha­de. This is not only shown by the apps’ user ratings, but also by such awards as “Gold Win­ner” at the Muse Award and “Sil­ver Win­ner” at the Best Mobi­le Awards pre­sen­ted to the Bar­be­ri­ni app. The app also came third in the Bran­den­burg Design Award. It plays a pio­nee­ring role in the cul­tu­ral sce­ne becau­se the app can be used to buy tickets for admis­si­on direct­ly. No more queu­ing at the ticket office. Just check in like for a flight. 

The com­pa­ny behind the smart gui­de, Micro­Mo­vie Media, has been con­cei­ving, desig­ning and pro­gramming apps, digi­tal media and con­tent for cul­tu­re and sci­ence for over 10 years. When the Pots­da­mers heard about the call for ten­der for the Bar­be­ri­ni App, they appli­ed, pre­vai­led against the com­pe­ti­ti­on and star­ted to deve­lop the later award-win­ning smart gui­de for the muse­um. Micro­Mo­vie Media’s Mana­ging Direc­tor Jas­dan Joer­ges, a bio­in­for­ma­ti­ci­an with a doc­to­ra­te, who had alre­a­dy been a pas­sio­na­te pro­gramm­er as a school­boy and then work­ed for 10 years as a cura­tor, exhi­bi­ti­on plan­ner and con­sul­tant after finis­hing uni­ver­si­ty, brought all his pas­si­ons tog­e­ther for the smart guide.

The com­plex muse­um plat­form runs on two ser­vers. One of the ser­vers is loca­ted direct­ly in the muse­um. Visi­tors are then sup­port­ed on site with the app to be able to explo­re the muse­um and expe­ri­ence art indi­vi­du­al­ly. Peo­p­le are navi­ga­ted through the muse­um by means of a sophisti­ca­ted bea­con sys­tem that sends signals to visi­tors via Blue­tooth, for exam­p­le, when they enter a new room. In this way, they can expe­ri­ence art indi­vi­du­al­ly. Visi­tors can choo­se their tours from a varie­ty of the­mes. Audio gui­des are also available. The app also pro­vi­des gene­ral infor­ma­ti­on about the buil­ding and the exhi­bi­ti­ons. The­re is a spe­cial, playful offer for par­ents and their child­ren. 360 degree tours are also offered.

An audio gui­de for the Pots­dam city wal­king tour has also been available as an app sin­ce sum­mer 2019. The focus is on the “Ita­li­an” Pots­dam, sites that have models in Ita­ly. The voice for this tour comes from none other than Gün­ther Jauch. Bea­cons were loca­ted at the rele­vant points in Pots­dam, informing the user about inte­res­t­ing facts via smart­phone at the respec­ti­ve location.

The Tate Modern in Lon­don, the Rijks­mu­se­um in Ams­ter­dam or the Metro­po­li­tan Muse­um in New York have been working on digi­ti­sa­ti­on for much lon­ger than the Bar­be­ri­ni. But the­se are the excep­ti­ons. “The­re is a huge inter­na­tio­nal back­log,” says Dr. Jas­dan Joer­ges, Mana­ging Direc­tor of Micro­Mo­vie Media. “The Bava­ri­an Pina­ko­the­ken, the Deut­sches Muse­um or the Stif­tung Staat­li­che Muse­en Ber­lin and many others are curr­ent­ly working inten­si­ve­ly on this.“ This also appli­es to Micro­Mo­vie Media’s cli­ents such as the Klas­sik Stif­tung Wei­mar or the Hum­boldt Forum in Ber­lin. Micro­Mo­vie Media its­elf is curr­ent­ly working on the first Vir­tu­al Rea­li­ty / Aug­men­ted Rea­li­ty pro­ject - this time in Sou­thern Ger­ma­ny. Should the­re be fur­ther, lar­ger pro­jects in this field, Micro­Mo­vie Media could well ima­gi­ne working with part­ners from the Media Tech Hub Pots­dam such as VoluCap.

By Eva Werner

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About MTH Blog

The media technologies of the future are already being used today – not only in the entertainment sector, but also in a wide variety of industries. Christine Lentz meets up with tech enthusiasts, established companies and researchers for our monthly MediaTech Hub Potsdam blog to tell the stories behind the innovative business models.