A very cool new app for the American Museum of Natural History. A great museum just got even better.
Museum of Natural History launches iPhone nav app
By EMILY NGO
Last Updated: 5:37 PM, July 29, 2010
Posted: 4:37 PM, July 29, 2010
American Museum of Natural History Explorer,
a guide and navigation tool for the museums exhibits.
Paper museum maps are so B.C.
The Museum of Natural History today launched a "pioneering" navigation app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that makes getting lost a thing of the past.
The free Explorer app guides visitors through the Upper West Side museumís expansive halls using "indoor GPS" ó or WiFi signals that show usersí exactly where they are.
"Our app is the first app ever to provide users with indoor, real-time location awareness," said Linda Perry-Lube, the museumís chief digital officer.
Explorer also allows users to read about exhibits, post images to Twitter and Facebook and create customized tours. It boasts 3D maps and nearly 300 exhibit images.
"It does what GPS systems did for cars a few years ago," said Nick Farina, whose Portland-based firm Spotlight Mobile created the app. "You can wander around and never feel lost."
Those without their own Apple gadgets can borrow one of the museumís 350 iPod Touch units. And tech-challenged fossils can seek guidance from one of the 25 high-school-aged "app kids" volunteering at the museum this summer.
"No more guessing which way to the whale," said Erana Stennett, of Bloomberg LP, which funded the app.
Officials would not say how much it cost to produce the "game-changing" app, which is about three years in the making. But they did say they expect other museums to follow suit in developing navigation apps.
The iPhone 4ís heavily criticized reception woes didnít disrupt the app testing process because the tool uses WiFi not the phone network, museum officials said.
Explorer comes on the heels of the popular Dinosaur app, which was launched in February and updated this past week. That app has been downloaded more than 370,000 times.