17 May 2012
QRator, the Museum focused ‘Internet of Things/Smart Places’ project developed jointly by CASA, UCL Digital Humanities and UCL Museums and Collections, with funding from the UCL Public Engagement Unit, has won The Museums & Heritage Award for Innovation.
Known as ‘The Oscars’ of the museums world we are delighted to have won, and to have had a museum brave enough to trust and openly engage with the public via innovative software and devices (iPads) while taking on ideas based around the Internet of Things made all the difference.
The idea behind QRator is to develop new kinds of content, co-curated by the public, museum curators, and academic researchers, to enhance museum interpretation, community engagement and establish new connections to museum exhibit content. It is supported by the UCL Public Engagement Unit under the Beacons for Public Engagement programme – funded by the UK funding councils, Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust.
The QRator project - which is powered by Tales of Things technology, also developed by CASA - won the Museums and Heritage Innovation award for bringing social interpretation and visitor participation to museums through the iPad application built for the UCL Grant Museum by CASA. The judges noted that QRator was "the outright winner” in our category in which we were up against the Victoria and Albert Museums (V+A) and the new Glasgow Riverside Museum. They praised the projects innovative design and application and also observed that the project could be applied to many more museums to increase visitor participation.
The teams involved were:
UCL CASA: Steven Gray, Andrew Hudson-Smith, Martin de Jode, Ralph Barthel,
UCL Digital Humanities: Claire Ross, Claire Warwick, Melissa Terras
UCL Grant Museum of Zoology: Jack Ashby, Mark Carnall, Emma-Louise Nichols, Simon Jackson
UCL Musuems and Collections: Sally MacDonald, Susannah Chan
It goes to show what can be achieved via cross disciplinary research and a drive to just go and do it.