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THE BUZZ: New App Brings Excitement to the Museum Experience

New App Brings Excitement to the Museum Experience

By Cathy Breslaw

The San Diego Museum of Art is about to undergo a big change in how visitors experience the museum.

“In today’s society, more than half of our visitors carry a smartphone, which makes it essential for us to change the way we distribute information and leverage the advanced solutions of technology,” said Dieter Fenkart-Fröschl, chief operating officer of The San Diego Museum of Art. “We are thrilled to offer our visitors this app, powered by Guru. It allows visitors from all ages to learn more about compelling content surrounding our works of art, exhibitions and the institution’s history. We hope to encourage art education in new ways by offering a solution to our visitors that is accessible from the palm of their hands.”

In a conversation with The Guru LLC founder, Paul Burke, he explained how their new app will be a technological bridge between museums and their visitors. Launching soon, this downloaded app will provide an educational interactive experience – the museum exhibits will come alive with museum maps, videos, and audio stories about the artists and exhibitions, providing tours of the exhibition spaces and information about other key areas of the museum and nearby activities. The ubiquitous smartphone will become the director and tour guide to the user’s experience of the museum.

Surprisingly, The Guru is a start-up business that originated as recently as February 2015. Burke explained that the idea for the app came from a trip he took with his niece and nephew to museums. It annoyed him that the kids weren’t particularly engaged with what they were seeing and were constantly on their phones – when he looked closely, he realized they were Googling information about the museum they were visiting. This experience planted a seed, and together with his own keen interest in history, an app was born. Though Beacon technology is accessible, and there are other companies that provide pieces of this kind of museum experience, Burke felt they aren’t seamless or go deep enough into providing quality content and services to users. Burke wants the app to truly provide an engaging educational experience that will motivate folks to visit museums more often and enhance their experiences there. He views his company as a partnership with museums not only to create engaging experiences for visitors but to help grow memberships and to help museums thrive. Guru is currently pursuing partnerships with other museums and cultural institutions in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and as far away as Australia.

Link to short video: about this app:

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.

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