Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales pilots a ‘world first’ iBeacon programme

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru) is the first national museum in the world to trial the Culture and Heritage Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology (Apple iBeacon), in partnership with People’s Collection Wales and the Locly (app and platform).  The programme is being trialled at one of Amgueddfa Cymru’s sites — the National Slate Museum in Llanberis — and will enable visitors to discover more about the collections on their mobile devices as they walk around the site.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales pilots a ‘world first’ iBeacon programme from Casgliad y Werin on Vimeo.

iBeacon works as a communication tool which connects with other devices, sending a signal using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It is an indoor positioning system that Apple Inc. calls "a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence." It can also be used by the Android operating system.

Through this particular programme, visitors will receive information from the National Slate Museum and People’s Collection Wales on their mobile devices as they go around the Museum, discovering and interacting with the exhibits.

The programme is based on digital content curated by the museum, and will feature iBeacon technology through the use of the Locly app and platform. 25 iBeacons have been placed around the National Slate Museum over the past 4 weeks with existing digital content re-purposed through the use of People’s Collection Wales and the Locly platform to provide a media rich visitor experience.

The partnership has completed stage one of the pilot, which was to trial the technological concept of iBeacons within a working accredited national museum.

Stage two of the pilot is now underway. It will investigate specific elements of digital heritage such as learning, interpretation, the use of bilingual and multilingual materials. This current stage will only be available to those interested in learning more about iBeacon technology in a museum environment.

David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru said:

“This initiative is a game-changer. It takes the use of technology in museums to a higher level and I am delighted that Wales’ national museum is leading the way. Thanks to the expertise of our staff and valuable knowledge and contributions of our partners, we are exploring the full potential of this technology to create a new world of public services for the cultural, heritage and museum sectors.”

iBeacon technology in museums will be further explored in an event hosted by Amgueddfa Cymru on 10 July 2014. More information will follow on

To learn more about how you can be involved in the pilot and arrange a visit to experience this new technology, please contact Rheinallt Jones ([email protected]), Tom Pert ([email protected]) or Susan Davies ([email protected]).

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