Already banned in many public venues and cinemas, Google Glass could find their ideal environment in tourism and museum visits
Google Glass has quickly moved from a more anticipated prototype to an announced failure, with continued delays in the commercial launch and the abandonment of the project by some developers. Pending the debut in the large-scale retail trade, for – and after a period of experimentation / acceptance – even cultural institutions seem to be preparing to face this perceptive revolution, capable of distorting the traditional standards of hospitality and museum information.
Experience, exploration, deepening, these are the basic principles of Google Glass applications for museums. An approach to the smarter and more interactive visit, completely different from the usual museum educational / information offers, which theoretically offer greater flexibility and appeal with an unprecedented enrichment of the contents proposed so far by exhibitions and museums.
An augmented reality through which visitors will not only be able to enjoy the works on display in a more complete and detailed manner thanks to special applications, but also – contextually – explore some inmodal slideshow information, recall other searchable information or view extra in-depth contents of exhibitions and works contained in them; all without being distracted by the use of the works themselves and without having to manipulate a smartphone or tablet anymore or other technological tools usually used by museums (for those who have them) for a never so free and total visit experience.
The ductility of these glasses means that the applications of use are truly manifold as there are many examples of experiments carried out or in progress. In this sense, Italy is positively distinguished on the world scene: at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, last November, the use of Glass for guided visits in sign language was experimented; in Florence, with GoogleGlass4Museum, the intent was to involve the boys in the visit of Palazzo Vecchio making them become little investigators, as also in Bologna during the visit to the Salone dei Cinquecento, receiving great interest and curiosity; yet, the Glass was proposed at the exhibition From Guercino to Caravaggio, at Palazzo Barberini in Rome and Venice, with the presentation of OK Venice! a new interactive guide to visiting the city.
Furthermore, overseas, confirming the attention paid to the potential of this sector, GuidiGO, a start-up in New York / Paris specializing in the creation of app for guided tours, has already announced that in 2015 it will be a stable partner of several museums around the world ( like the Metropolitan of NY), for the realization of virtual tours optimized for Glass.
Having said that the Glass, available on the market not before 2015, and for now only available in the US and in the Explorer version for 1500 dollars, it seems they can make inroads even in a traditionalist environment such as the cultural one and, if correctly understood and valued, could impose also in the world of museums, soon becoming a habit in our way of using art and understanding tourism. Therefore they are also configured as a new effective engine of cultural growth, capable as they seem to modify and strengthen the dynamics of engagement and learning.