MuseumMinute / Studies/Reports

New Report: NMC Horizon Report, 2012 Museum Edition

It’s a new week, so that means there’s a new highly influential, field defining report to check out!

The 2012 Museum Edition of the New Media Consortium Horizon Report has arrived. To get the run down, watch the video below.

nmcDid you catch all of that? There’s a lot of rich information in this report. I really like the fact that the report states that it is not a “predictive tool.” Heck, if we museum professionals were psychic none of us would be in the financial bind we all find ourselves in, huh? Instead, this report is meant to, “highlight emerging technologies with considerable potential for our focus areas of education and interpretation.” Technology is always in a state of transition and some platforms, even the established ones, can completely fade away. Thankfully, this report is the brain child of an international advisory board, including experts in museums, education and technology who analyze trends, challenges, resources and opportunities. They know their stuff. If you’re interested in who was a part of this project, as I was, check out the end of the report (p.40). It lists the 2012 Museum Edition Advisory Board.

So, what’s on the horizon? What should we be paying attention to/planning for?

Near-term Horizon (12 months)

  • Mobile Apps
  • Social Media

Mid-term Horizon (2-3 years)

  • Augmented Reality

…aims to enhance what we can perceive with our own senses, and introduce us to another dimension of experience 

  • Open Content

…a movement among scholars and learning-focuses institutions to make content freely available via online platforms

Far-term Horizon (4-5 years)

  • The Internet of Things

The next phase in the evolution of “smart” things.

  • Natural User Interfaces

Computers that respond to gestures, motions of the body, facial expressions, voice, sound and other environmental cues (replacing the keyboard and mouse)

Mobile apps and social media as the “near-term” horizon is spot on. If you’re not sure – check out last week’s post on the Pew Internet & American Life Project‘s Arts and Digital Technologies Report. Given the natural growth in the larger cultural consciousness that social media and mobile apps have witnessed over the last five years, it is only natural that cultural heritage organizations would be able to leverage these tools to create stronger bonds between their work and the communities they serve.

Is your institution working on projects that involve any of the mid-term or far-term technologies? Have you seen these “future” technologies being used successfully in other fields?

To download the full report (42 pgs), click here. Read the report and let’s chat about it. Let me know what you think in the comments or via Twitter.

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