meSch in NMC Horizon Report Museum Edition

The report identifies six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in technology across three adoption horizons over the next five years, giving museum leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The NMC and Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition at the 2015 Smith Leadership Symposium at Balboa Park in San Diego. The format of the report provides in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational and interpretive technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

Key Trends Accelerating Museum Technology Adoption
The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition identifies “Expanding the Concept of Visitors” and “Increasing Focus on Participatory Experiences” as having a short-term impact that will accelerate the adoption of educational and interpretive technology in museums over the next one to two years. “Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration” and “Increasing Focus on Data Analytics for Museum Operations” are mid-term impact trends, expected to drive technology use over the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Expanding the Boundaries of Creativity” and “Rise of Private Companies in Museum Education” have been identified as trends with long-term impact, anticipated to shape cultural heritage institutions for the next five years or more.

Significant Challenges Impeding Museum Technology Adoption
A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in museums. “Developing Digital Strategies” and “Improving Digital Literacy of Museum Professionals” are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives” and “Measuring the Impact of New Technologies” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Maintaining Progress in Technology, Workflows, and Infrastructure” and “Privacy Concerns,” which are complex to define, much less to address.

Important Developments in Educational and Interpretive Technology for Museums
Additionally, the report identifies Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and games and gamification as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Location-based services and makerspaces are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; natural user interfaces and the Internet of Things are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.

meSch as example
Last but not least we would like to point out that the meSch project is mentioned as one of the examples of the Internet of Things in use that have direct implications for museums.

You can download a free copy of the report at: go.nmc.org/2015-muse