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QRator wins the The Museums & Heritage Award for Innovation

QRator, the Museum focused ‘Internet of Things/Smart Places’ project developed jointly with us here at the Centre for Advanced Spatial AnalysisUCL Digital Humanities and UCL Museums, 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 honoured to of won, to have 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.

QRator is a collaborative project between the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH), UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), and UCL Museums and Collections, 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 project is powered by Tales of Things technology developed at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, which has created a method for cataloguing physical objects online which could make museums and galleries a more interactive experience. QRATOR takes the technology a step further bringing the opportunity to move the discussion of objects direct to the museum label and onto a digital collaborative interpretation label, users’ mobile phones, and online allowing the creation of a sustainable, world-leading model for two-way public interaction in museum spaces.

Notable thanks go to Steven Gray of CASA, Claire Ross of Digital Humanities, Jack Ashby and Mark Carnall of the Grant Museum of Zoology. With the support of Prof. Claire Warwick and Dr Melissa Terras of Digital Humanities and Sally MacDonald, Director of UCL Museums  it goes to show what can be achieved via cross disciplinary research and a drive to just go and do it. Thanks also goes to Susannah Chan from UCL Museums and Public Engagement for inventing the mounts for the iPads and Emma-Louise Nichols and Simon Jackson from the Grant Museum who moderate the content day in and day out.

Finally thanks to the UCL side of the TalesofThings team -  Dr Ralph Barthel and Dr Martin De Jode for working behind the scenes and putting the technology in place. TalesofThings is funded by the Digital Economy Research Councils UK.

Other museums shortlisted in the category were
Glasgow Life: Riverside Museum
Pin Point Visualisation Ltd: Exhibita Pro
The Public Catalogue Foundsation: Your Painting
Victoria and Albert Museum: Five Truths

You can find our more from see also the post from UCL Museums on the award and a write up over at DigitalNerdosaurous.

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