The Nordic Museum launches new audio guide with open source

By on July 15, 2017

As the first museum in Sweden, the Nordic Museum has developed an app for audio guide released as an open source. This means that the visitor can download the app before the visit, and that others can re-use the code and further develop the app’s features. With open source, museums can create long-term sustainable collaboration on new technologies with a number of players.

The Nordic Museum’s activities have a clear public focus. The museum deliberately works with the development of creating a museum experience that is more interactive and multisensory. The trend is from customized audio guide equipment to systems that enable guided tours through visitors’ own mobile phones. The museum therefore needs to develop stable and sustainable technical solutions.

– With the help of the new audio guide, the museum will be able to offer a more attractive experience of the museum’s new exhibitions and public space. Experiences that activate the visitors, speak to the feeling and thus create greater curiosity and commitment around people’s lives yesterday, today and tomorrow, says Sanne Houby-Nielsen, governor of the Nordic Museum.

The app development has been conducted together with The Innovation Studio* in Pittsburgh, USA. The Innovation Studio is a joint development lab for the four museums Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center, which works to support a common innovation culture.

– We chose to collaborate with The Innovation Studio because they consistently release their project as open source. This meant that we could develop a tailored, flexible and expandable app without sacrificing the entire development costs ourselves, says Aron Ambrosiani, digital producer at the Nordic Museum, which welcomes more museums to participate in further development work.

– We have mutually decided to open source the code for this project. We are doing this to benefit the Museum community at large and to build a culture of sharing and collaboration around Museums and their digital products. This sharing of resources could allow each Museum to completely customize their digital products while contributing back to the community as our needs are often aligned, says Ruben Niculcea, Software Engineer at the Innovation Studio. 

The audio guide is available at:

Easy Swedish

Children’s audio guide
There is also a special custom guide track for children where the child is accompanied by Gustav Vasa on a walk in the Nordic Museum

Download the audio guide
The Nordic Museum Audioguide is free and is available for iOS.
Download for iOS here >>

Culture & Music | Stockholm