Although I've only had the Cleveland Museum of Art's iPad app, ARTLENS, for under 24 hours it's already one of my favorites. And I haven't even really used it yet. No one can until next week when the app is officially rolled out at the museum.
Here's the story from The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt, Cleveland Museum of Art leads American art museums with its new Apple iPad mobile app and Gallery One education center. The headline tells it all. The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is on the cutting edge these days. From the stunning atrium to this new app, all eyes are on us.
I was talking to a customer over the weekend and we were talking about University Circle, as he works at the Cleveland Clinic. He'd confessed to having never been to the CMA. If you're like him you need to change that soon. If you haven't been to the CMA in years you need to go soon. It's an entirely different experience. And the final additions won't be open until the end of this year.
Now the ARTLENS iPad app will make that experience all the more rewarding. It's a bit like those self-guided tour systems that have been around for years, changing with the technology of the day. Personal audio tour devices have been used by the CMA for the past few years during special exhibitions. And who remembers the key shaped like an elephant used to play audio out of boxes at the Cleveland Zoo? Technology has come a long way and makes the iPad tour guide an interactive delight.
There are numberous ARTLENS tours that have been designed for visitors, most lasting between 30 to 45 minutes. Since the museum is free, yes free, you don't have to feel obligated to see everything in one day. Choose a couple of the tours, stop for something to eat at the new cafe and come back another time to check out more.
The tours focus on different genres and themes, ensuring a much different experience than you've had at any museum. No more starting at the beginning and trying to follow your way to the end, which is especially difficult in art museums with its many rooms that create a sort of maze.