The American Museum of Natural History today unveiled the American Museum of Natural History Explorer app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, designed to help users better navigate through the Museum’s various exhibitions.
The Museum has been newly outfitted with indoor Wi-Fi, and users can use the app [iTunes link] to pinpoint their location and receive turn-by-turn directions through the 45 permanent exhibition halls, theaters, restrooms, cafes and shops. In addition, the app can be used to access customized visual and audio tours, a fossil treasure hunt, and further information about more than 140 specimens and objects on display — all of which can easily be shared to e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
Visitors can access the apps via their own devices or borrow one of the 350 the museum is making available for free. A team of 25 New York City high school students called the App Support Team will be on hand for assistance.
In addition, users can access the Museum’s previously released iPhone app [iTunes link], containing hundreds of images and stories about the discoveries of eight popular dinosaur species. An astronomy app is slated for this fall, in addition to a refreshed website in early 2011.
“We wanted to put the latest mobile technology in visitors’ hands and provide them with an app that works not only as a personal navigation system but also gives an exciting look at our collections from anywhere in the world, connecting to social networks through email, Twitter, and Facebook,” said Linda Perry-Lube, senior vice president and chief digital officer at the Museum. “The task of building a system capable of mapping visitors’ locations inside of the Museum was monumental and has laid the groundwork for future development.”
While many museums have released apps in the past few years — including the Louvre [iTunes link], the Brooklyn Museum [iTunes link] and the Graphic Design Museum [iTunes link] in Breda, The Netherlands — this is by far the most robust we’ve seen. We’re especially impressed that the Museum is ensuring that the technology is available to everyone by offering both devices and tech support to visitors.
You can learn more in the video preview below.
What do you think of the app? Are you more likely to visit the Museum of Natural History simply to check it out?
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