Posted by: henrymcghie | May 23, 2011

Our ‘Living Worlds’ App

Our ‘Living Worlds’ gallery will be in place for about 15 years. One of the challenges for us was how to provide up to date content- facts, figures, stories, and suggestions for things for people to do after their visit. To do this, we worked with the designers (villa eugenie) and with a leading smart phone app development company (Mubaloo) to develop an app for i phones, i pads, Android smart phones and tablets. Our visitor services staff can use this on the gallery to show to people. People who have their own smart phones can download the app for free and explore it at their leisure. The beauty of this is that we can change a lot of the information on the app, as it is coming over the internet from a database system, Ke Emu, that we use in the museum. Ke Emu is the same system that you are using when you ‘search our collections’ from the museum website. This means that we can continue to develop the content of the app, and people can have a different experience over time.

If you want to download the app, it is called ‘Living Worlds’ on the Apple App Store and Android App Store. You need to be connected to wifi or the computer to download it for i phone and i pad. With the app, you will have access to all of the content of the gallery, fantastic images of the objects, stories about them, and suggestions as to where to ‘find out more’ and to ‘get involved’. We are continuing to build up the content, and will be adding short films of people talking about nature.

I hope you like it!




  1. Hi Henry,

    I was wondering if there was a reason the BlackBerry was left out of the platform choice. Was this due to cost, design or demographic?



  2. Hello Russell- when we were developing the gallery, we knew that information would be delivered via tablets but we didn’t know which one, so we developed it for both i-pad and Samsung Galaxy tablet. We also developed versions for i-phone and Android smart phone so that visitors with these devices could download the app for their own use. That meant we were developing four versions of the app, as well as the exhibition itself. So, it wasn’t really down to cost, design or demographic- it was more to do with time.

    I hope that answers your question.


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