Pioneers of an Inspiring Mobile Experience

Friday, June 12, 2015

Apps can offer amazing experiences for museums.

At the CMHR, our team worked closely with Acoustiguide to enhance the visitor’s self-paced journey – whether physical or virtual – through the Museum. Unique in the museum world, this free bilingual app enables visitors of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to have inspiring encounters with human rights.

Mobile App Home Screen

'Journey of Inspiration' written on a pick background
Provides interactive features along with an audio guide, also available in American Sign Language (ASL) and french equivalent

Photo of the app with transcript button
Each audio component has a text-based transcript.

While audio tours are still the most common form of “self-guided” experiences available at cultural sites, we pioneered an inspiring experience through our mobile app showcasing video, audio, image galleries, augmented reality, and so much more. 

Mobile app keypad, with a hand reaching an iBeacon sign
Low energy bluetooth iBeacons allow position aware content delivery through our Universal Access Points (UAPs). There is also a keypad for devices that do no support bluetooth.

A smartphone with sign language on the screen
While many exhibits feature American Sign Language (ASL) or Langue des signes Québécoise (LSQ), the mobile app includes additional sing-language content for several exhibits.

The app is available for free in the iTunes and Google play stores to download on your iOS or Android device, or you can borrow a loaded device for free at the Ticketing and Information desk at the main entrance.

Since we launched our app in November 2014, we’ve continued to make improvements to further enrich  our visitors’ experiences, including design improvements, an improved audio player, map sections, and enhancements for the interactive panorama. We’ve included these and additional features in the latest version of the app (1.4).

A photo of a panorama with blue spots on it
An interactive panorama feature from the Israel Asper Tower of Hope and the Indigenous Perspectives terrace includes “hot spots” of information about nearby Winnipeg landmarks.

Drawing of a map
An interactive map of the Museum’s public spaces can tell you where you are, show you floorplans or guide you to your destination.

One of the more unique features of this update is the Mood Meter. This feature not only allows you to share the emotional quality of your experience; the mood meter also allows you to see how other visitors have felt. In the recent update, we have included a new dashboard that allows you to see your progress as you experience the tour.

A mood map with Moved, Surprised, Thoughtful, Inspired as dimensions
A first for any museum in the world, this colourful feature provides an easy way for you to provide us with useful feedback about your experience – and see how others felt.


Just last month, the CMHR was recognized with a Gold Muse Award at the annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in Atlanta, Georgia for outstanding achievement in the use of media and technology for our mobile application.

The app is designed with a modular architecture, allowing Museum staff to add, edit or remove content or functions in a simple, cost-effective manner. The app pulls content from the Museum’s Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) and from its dynamically created, accessible web pages. This allows staff to change content delivered by the app quickly and efficiently, ensuring the Museum has a strong foundation for digital storytelling into the future.