The launch of the first iPhone in 2007 heralded a new connected age. Smartphones put the internet in everyone’s pocket and in more recent times a bewildering array of other portable devices from smartwatches to eReaders have steadily become part and parcel of our everyday lives.
From the beginning, these devices and the digital platforms they enabled were seen as a panacea for engaging audiences in new and exciting ways. Science centres and museums have long been a playground for technology driven approaches to public engagement and this new digital landscape was fertile new territory for exploration. Over the course of the past decade a dazzling array of experiments and new ways of looking at technology have been pioneered within our institutions, paving the way for the sophisticated modern approaches we all have become familiar with.
As we enter a new decade of digital and data-driven experimentation what can we learn from work across the sector to date? At the 2018 COMPASS Conference and at other formal and informal museum gatherings thereafter the seeds of the interviews presented in this article were sown. Here experts from around the world share their reflections on the past and perspectives on the future of mobile and digital in museums and galleries.