Enhanced Experiences – Museums Use iBeacons to Engage Visitors

Enhanced experiences are created as visitors

The applications of beacons are going beyond retail

Visitors receive engaging content on their smartphones to provide enhanced experiences Museums and galleries are beginning to prove that they are more than just buildings containing precious artwork. Beacon technology is being used in museums to provide enhanced experiences for visitors.

To amplify their experience, visitors will gain access to a range of exclusive content; including audio guides, physical tours around the museum and curator notes. Such engaging content is directly delivered to smartphones and other digital devices (tablets) to add more depth and contextualisation to their visit.

How museums and galleries are creating enhanced experiences

Museu d’Art Nacional de Catalunya (MNAC) in Barcelona, Spain was, in fact, the first museum to operate with beacon technology. Visitors that download MNAC’s free app will have access to exclusive multimedia content when they visit the ‘19th and 20th Centuries Collection’ at the museum.

The Rubens House in Antwerp, Belgium is also using iBeacons to create enhanced experiences.  Through the official app that is compatible with the iBeacon, visitors will gain access to The Rubens family archives and other details on the well-known Baroque artist. Visitors of this museum can also receive close up views of paintings on their personal digital screens.

The Rubens House also makes use of Geo-caching to encourage visitors to find paintings themselves in a fun and interactive way. What’s more, to create enhanced experiences, a digital guide is available enabling visitors to time travel the museum and gain an insightful view of the Baroque Era art.


Visitors can benefit from virtual digital tours around the museum using ibeacon technology. How visitors can benefit from enhanced experiences at museums:

  • Get interactive guides around the museum- find the nearest toilet or receive directions to other floors.
  • You longer have to take notes on your favourite artwork, simply bookmark the piece and browse it later.
  • You can digitally “like” a painting or share your favourite artwork on social networks such as Twitter
  • Enable content annotation by  leaving real time comments with attachments for other visitors who are near the beacon to view on their smartphones.
  • Receive rewards for visiting the gallery by unlocking digital content on your phone during your visit

iBeacons allow museums to interact with their visitors in a non-spam way and there’s no need to use QR codes or URLs! When visitors are near a beacon the push notification simply appears on their tablet or smartphone giving them the choice to read and consume the information or not. The use of beacons also enables visitors to gain a better understanding of the artist and allows them to enjoy the experience.