How Bluetooth Technology is Enhancing Museum Experiences

The traditional museum experience is undergoing a remarkable transformation. Central to this change is the integration of Bluetooth technology, particularly through the use of Bluetooth beacons. These small, wireless devices are redefining visitor interactions, creating more immersive, informative, and personalised experiences.

Personalised Tours at Your Fingertips

One of the most significant advantages of Bluetooth beacons is the ability to use them with apps to offer personalised tours. As visitors move through a museum, beacons located near exhibits can send information directly to their smartphones or provided devices. This can tailor content to individual preferences, past viewing history, or even language, making the museum tour more engaging and accessible for everyone.

Bringing Exhibits to Life

Imagine standing before an ancient artifact and receiving not just text-based information, but an interactive story that takes you back in time. Bluetooth beacons make this possible. By triggering audio narratives, augmented reality experiences, or video content as visitors approach, they bring a dynamic and vivid dimension to the exhibits, far beyond what traditional static displays offer.

Enhanced Learning Opportunities

Educational outreach is a core mission for many museums. Bluetooth beacons can enhance learning by providing additional layers of information, interactive quizzes and scavenger hunts for younger visitors. This interactive form of learning is not only more engaging but also helps in retaining information and sparking a deeper interest in the subject matter.

Crowd Management and Flow

Museums can be overwhelming, especially when they are crowded. Bluetooth technology can help manage the flow of visitors by providing real-time data on crowded areas. This information can be used to suggest alternative routes to visitors, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable visit. It also helps museum staff to better manage and distribute the crowd, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

Accessibility for All

Accessibility is a crucial aspect of modern museums. Bluetooth beacons can provide visually impaired visitors with audio descriptions, guiding them through the museum and describing exhibits in detail. This level of accessibility ensures that museums are a place of learning and inspiration for everyone.

Collecting Valuable Insights

For museum administrators, Bluetooth beacons are a goldmine of visitor data. They can track which exhibits attract the most attention, average dwell times and visitor flow patterns. This data is invaluable for making informed decisions about exhibit placement, marketing strategies and future exhibit planning.

Sustainable and Cost-Effective

Bluetooth beacons are low-energy devices, making them an environmentally friendly and cost-effective option for museums. Their low power consumption means they can run for years on a single battery, reducing maintenance costs and their environmental footprint.


The integration of Bluetooth technology in museums is a significant leap towards making art, culture, and history more accessible and engaging in the digital age. Bluetooth beacons are playing a crucial role in this transformation, offering personalised, immersive and accessible experiences to every visitor.

View Bluetooth beacons

Study on Visitor Behaviour in Museums

There’s new research from the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD), Turin, Italy on Technology as a tool to study visitor behaviour in museums: positioning and neuropsychological detection to identify physical & cognitive barriers (pdf).

Inclusive communication projects in museums often rely on general principles of design without considering how unique a cultural experience it should be. It’s important to study all types of visitors, especially those who feel left out, to understand their experiences better and help them feel more included. However, tracking visitors in a museum can be difficult due to the indoor environment and the need to avoid affecting their behaviour.

To tackle this, the researchers used Bluetooth to study individual experiences. They used a Raspberry Pi that can located a user based on signals from Bluetooth beacons, providing a cheap way to track visitors indoors.

This system was tested at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome, Italy. About 60 visitors were tracked, and their emotional responses were measured using a special bracelet. This data was stored and analysed to understand how visitors’ locations in the museum might relate to their emotional experiences, such as spending more time near pieces of art that have a strong emotional impact.

View wearable beacons

iBeacon-enabled Interactive Audio Walk

Lydspor is an immersive, interactive audio walk taking visitors through the history of Helsingør in Denmark. This project makes use of iBeacon technology, allowing it to precisely locate you as you meander down Hestemøllestræde. It is not just an auditory experience but a site-specific sensory journey, produced after one and a half years of intensive research.

The Lydspor team explored soma design methods, focusing on affective interaction design and the concept of bodies as interconnected and multisensory, transcending just human interaction. This exploration and the resultant understanding were then integrated into the design process to create a unique combination of somatic and affective design, aimed at providing site-specific sonic augmentations that vividly communicate the history of the space.

Scattered along Hestemøllestræde are beacons, each telling a distinct historical tale. The accompanying app has been designed to provide a seamless auditory experience that requires minimal device interaction, further enhancing the immersive nature of the walk.

There’s also a research paper with videos.

Study into Monitoring Museum Exhibition Visitors

There’s recent research from Brno University of Technology and National Museum – Natural History Museum, Prague, Czech Republic on Monitoring visitors using wireless technologies (pdf) in which BeaconZone is referenced.

The paper looks into the historical and existing technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Ultra-Wideband and RFID for tracking visitors.

The authors propose a new solution combining existing technologies with heat maps from camera images.

Analysing visitor behaviour, museums can identify popular and unpopular areas and make adjustments accordingly, such as adding interactive elements to specific exhibits. Visitor behaviour also helps museums make informed decisions about marketing and promotions. Tracking visitor movements can also help identify and mitigate potential security risks in real time.

Aventri Event Apps Use iBeacon

Aventri is an all-in-one event platform that allows enterprise companies to run engaging in-person, virtual and hybrid events.

Their mobile event app can detect beacons placed at strategic locations across the event, for example, at each booth. The iBeacon can cause the app to show an automated message when a visitor is in range of a booth. It also allows you to silently measure foot traffic at the event.

Read about Beacons in Events and Visitor Spaces

View iBeacons

Beacons for Immersive Experiences

We are seeing beacons increasingly being used in immersive experiences in theatre productions, events, museums, galleries, theme parks and with augmented reality (AR). Beacons provide physical location cues for tech-driven immersive experiences.

Beacons have a variety of uses in immersive experiences. They cause things to happen based on the location of a person or things or their mutual proximity. They provide a way of counting how many people or things are in an area. Some beacons have buttons that allow for human interaction. There are also sensor beacons that expand what’s possible through the detection of temperature, light, proximity, physical open/closed, movement and fall detection. Beacons replace what might usually have been done manually thus saving costs, sometimes implementing scenarios that are impractical to do manually. While the emphasis is usually all about maximising the experience, beacons also allow the collection of data so that it’s possible to learn from current or past installations.

Beacons are small, battery powered devices that can last months to years without changing the battery. They are detected by smartphones, gateways or single board computers such as Raspberry Pi.

We have immersive experience clients such as dreamthinkspeak, Playlines, Punchdrunk, Sophie Jump using our beacons. We also provide consultancy an example of which is Royal Museums Greenwich’s AR immersive experience for which we have a case study.

Cutty Sark

Beacons help make immersive experiences more physical and magical.

View Beacons

Museum, Visitor Space Case Study

We have a new case study on our consultancy for Royal Museums Greenwich on the Cutty Sark.

Royal Museums Greenwich wanted to locate visitors as part of their forthcoming Cutty Sark Alive Augmented Reality (AR) experience.

Use our consultancy to help prevent problems that should have been known prior to commencement. Otherwise, ‘unknown unknowns’ can lead to project failure or force pivoting in less desirable directions. A small initial study prevents expensive and embarrassing mistakes.

Read about Consultancy

Read about Feasibility Studies

Using Beacons in Zoos

Marwell Zoo has a new app, with support for beacons, that allows visitors to plan their day, locate animals and stay informed about the zoo’s latest news.

The app provides an interactive map and contextual messages to the 140-acre park’s 500,000 visitors a year. The app uses the platform who have an article on how to add value to a visitors’ experiences through the use of contextual messages and having a better understanding of guests.

Read about Beacons in Visitor Spaces

View iBeacons

Finding the Nearest Beacon

There’s new research from Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Slovenia on Improved Bluetooth Low Energy Sensor Detection for Indoor Localization Services.

While there has been lots of research into server-side processing to improve location accuracy, this research instead looks into improving accuracy locally, in terms of finding the nearest beacon. This kind of processing is often needed where smartphone apps provide users with contextual information based on their location, for example, in museums.

It’s not possible to use the raw received signal strength (RSSI) because it changes frequently due to changes in blocking and reflection in a room. Any errors in determining the correct transmitter can cause errors in displaying relevant information which, in turn, leads to a poor visitor user experience.

The study involved use of iBeacons detected by Android smartphones, both in a controlled room with three obstacles and a real-world setting Expo Museum.

The proposed algorithm stabilised the RSSI by considering previous measurements to filter out sudden fluctuation of the RSSI signal or the rapid movement of the mobile device. The smartphone’s accelerometer was also used dynamically change the scan interval based on the user’s movement.

In the controlled room, the proposed algorithm had a 14.29% better success rate than a standard algorithm using the raw RSSI values. It performed particularly (20%) better in spaces having medium or high density of physical obstacles. It also performed better in the real-world Expo environment with a success rate of 95% compared to 87% with a standard algorithm.