Legion of Honor Launches Official App
Legion of Honor app
App uses Interactive 3D Mapping & Indoor Positioning Technology
SAN FRANCISCO (January 21, 2016) – The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to unveil the official app for the Legion of Honor. Taking advantage of Apple’s latest developments in indoor positioning, the app serves as a personal tour guide for museum-goers, allowing visitors to wander the galleries as if on a private curatorial tour. This is the first app for the Legion of Honor.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco collaborated with Guidekick, a local start-up that offers a mobile application platform focused on visitor experiences. The first result of the collaboration debuted in October 2015 with an app for the Legion of Honor’s sister institution, the de Young museum. The de Young was the first museum to take advantage of this new technology.
“The plan was always to create an app for both museums,” said Gary Castro, chief information officer of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “By launching first at the de Young, we were able to test patrons’ response to this technology and create a stronger version for the Legion of Honor.”
The Legion of Honor app features a 3D map of the building that pinpoints a visitor’s location to ease navigation and way-finding. The app allows a user to select a thematic tour that leads them to a curated selection of works, or to navigate the galleries more freely, as location-aware alerts notify them when they pass by key artworks. The app also offers thematic tours of the permanent collection using images and audio from the museum’s curatorial team, as well as special features on the unique architecture of the building. This original content is available exclusively through the app, and will soon expand to offer information on special exhibitions, including the upcoming Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia.
Unlike many audio tours the Legion of Honor app automatically triggers content without requiring the visitor to take an additional action, such as typing a number or scanning a code. The app has also been carefully designed to help visitors engage with artwork without visual distraction and to avoid disrupting the experience of other patrons. Users simply put the phone to their ear to trigger the recording, which then plays privately, mirroring the receiving of a phone call.
“We’re excited to be at the forefront of the intersection of art and technology,” said Richard Benefield, acting director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Apps like this are the future of the museum experience and enable us to take engagement beyond the walls of the Museums.”
The app also offers insights into the visitor experience, helping the Legion of Honor to build richer, more tailored experiences for visitors. Currently the app is only available for iPhone users. An Android version is forthcoming.
About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.
The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition and was originally known as the Memorial Museum. Thirty years later, it was renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, a longtime champion of the museum. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It showcases the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.
The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion, itself a replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The museum opened in 1924 in the Beaux Arts–style building designed by George Applegarth on a bluff overlooking the Golden Gate. Its holdings span 4,000 years and include European painting, sculpture and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.
Guidekick is a platform for the world’s attractions (museums, monuments, parks) to provide stunning native mobile apps to their visitors. The app transforms the on-site experience by providing intelligent indoor and outdoor navigation, and delivering content based on a visitor’s location. Attractions receive powerful cloud based tools and analytics, providing deep insight into visitor behavior. Guidekick Inc. (www.guidekick.co) is a San Francisco based technology company founded in 2014. The company is backed by 500 Startups and is partnered alongside top art institutions including the Hearst Castle, de Young, and Legion of Honor.