Docent is an app that brings an interactive experience to museums across the world. It helps locals and travelers alike by making it easier to enjoy art.
When visiting museums in other countries it is often difficult to understand artwork descriptions due to language barriers. Flipping through a guide book is supposed to help, but it actually hinders the process by turning into more searching than appreciating. Even when museum signs are in your native language, they are typically small and crowds can make them difficult to see. Docent eliminates all of these issues.
AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) DEMO
Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
Can I take a picture of art within Docent?
No, the app only scans art and does not store any photos.
What is the Timed Tour?
Just because museums take hours, doesn’t mean you’ve got hours to spare. Using the time slider displayed on each museum’s dashboard, Docent lets you choose an amount of time that’s convenient for you, and uses that to curate a tour of the museum’s most important artworks.
Explain the scan function more.
Docent’s most powerful tool is its scanner. Users can instantly learn a painting’s entire history with the click of a button, quickly placing it in historical and artistic context without forcing museumgoers to flip endlessly through pamphlets or pay for a guide. The “scan” icon appears on each screen of the app—all visitors have to do is hold their smartphone cameras up to the painting and click the button. With the flash disabled the function is automatic, similar to a QR code, and the information appears instantly onscreen in any language of their choosing. In addition, no image data is ever stored. Keeping development costs down, Docent will pull all information from open-source museum databases across the world, ensuring data is always properly formatted and up-to-date.
Why is Docent good for museums?
Museum curators get what’s been obvious for years now: traditional museums are declining, but digital technologies are soaring. Hard-copy guidebook sales have been plunging for a decade, while the number of free apps has been growing exponentially—especially among travellers, for whom smartphones are as essential as a map, compass, translator and guidebook all in one. The current demand for practical, stress-relieving apps is enormous.
Art museums have largely stayed away from embracing these sorts of technologies; those who love paintings might not need to be as easily wooed as kids in a history museum. But the public’s appetite still exists. That’s the gap that Docent fills—connecting the past to the future.
Are you offering white label services?
There’s no end to the white-labelling opportunities Docent offers. Museums and art retailers could rebrand the app under their own name, saving them time, printing costs and the stress of building a similar app. Or consider major auction houses, such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s, which still rely on auctioneers to flip through pages and guides to inform potential bidders about each item’s details; using Docent’s scanner, these auction houses could offer buyers a simpler way to understand what’s for sale.
When is Docent available?
We need the funding to start, but would like to aim for the end of Q2 2016.
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