| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Innovation & Job News

Tech entrepreneur teams with Drexel to launch a mobile audio tour experience for museums

CultureSpots improves the museum experience

CultureSpots improves the museum experience

If you've ever spent any time inside an art or natural history museum, there's a chance you've encountered the ubiquitous hand-held audio wand. Attached to a museum wall alongside an exhibit and stored in a charging station, audio wands share pre-recorded information about adjacent objects and displays.    
Now, with a bit of business development assistance from Neville Vakharia of Drexel's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, local tech entrepreneur Cliff Stevens has created a game-changing audio-tour tool that is both less expensive and more convenient than the traditional museum wand solution.
Known as CultureSpots, the product exists as a free web-based mobile tool -- not an app -- that users can easily access on smartphones or tablets.
Vakharia, who studies the roles technology can play in building stronger and more sustainable arts organizations, helped Stevens develop a business plan for the audio platform, positioning it specifically as a solution for small and mid-size galleries and museums. Institutions, in other words, that can't necessarily afford expensive audio-tour infrastructure.   
"I immediately gravitated towards [his] idea," says Vakharia, who first learned about CultureSpots during a chance encounter with Stevens at a Drexel T3 tech event. "I realized that Drexel could bring the resources and expertise to really make this successful, and to really make a change in the museum field."   
After piloting a beta version of CultureSpots at 15 local museums and galleries, "we were really pleased to see that people wanted it, and people used it," explains Vakharia. "Overwhelmingly, the feedback was very positive."
CultureSpots will be officially launched at Drexel's Leonard Pearlstein Gallery on October 22 from 9 to 11 a.m., during which visitors will have an opportunity to test the platform.   
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Sources: Neville Vakharia, Drexel University and Cliff Stevens, CultureSpots

Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts