Applications Get Smarter With Real-world Content: TapArt And the Push to Modernize Museums

Tapme Media is a Dutch creative agency that develops digital experiences for the web, mobile, and the Internet of Things. Recently, they launched Tapart, a new beacon-enabled platform for museums, and carried out its first beacon implementation at the Groningen Museum in Netherlands. We talked to Sietze de Jong, the company’s CEO and co-founder, about delivering high-quality content and best-in-class experiences for contemporary visitors by going beyond standards. How do beacon-enabled mobile apps differ from standard mobile apps at museums?
Sietze de Jong, Tapme’s CEO: Beacon-enabled apps display content and unlock interactions that are the most relevant to a user at a given time in a specific place. Applications, understanding the real-world context, are getting smarter and open a new range of opportunities. For example, we can adjust the content to a user’s interests, or reward them with in-depth information or coupons for being at specific locations. In museums, where a visitor faces different exhibits and different stories at almost every step, such capabilities are crucial. Beyond increasing what a museum offers its users,  it also enables us to gather in-depth analytics on users’ behavior. What kind of data?
Sietze de Jong, Tapme’s CEO: It’s like Google Analytics for a website visitor’s behavior, yet conducted offline. We track interactions, behavior, and points of interest, but in the real-world. At Tapme, we process such data to generate heat maps that show what interests users the most, which spots are too crowded, and which ones are skipped by visitors. That provides museums with detailed information about their physical infrastructure and how visitors interact with it. With beacons and proximity, such knowledge is finally available and affordable. You implemented beacons at the Groninger Museum to create more touchpoints. What does that actually mean and how does it look like?
Sietze de Jong, Tapme’s CEO: The most common use case at museums is about providing additional content once a visitor approaches an exhibit. We wanted to do more than that, so we took the full advantage of the relevancy that proximity provides, and used it to stimulate interactions between the museum, visitors, and exhibits.
When a visitor is waiting in line to buy tickets, he or she can watch a beacon-triggered video about the museum or current exhibition instead of just waiting. There are more touchpoints like that. Currently, we’re working on a question feature that lets visitors ask questions about exhibits they’re watching, and get answers from curators and staff through our management dashboard. Here’s the most interesting part: the questions and answers will be visible to other visitors. It is the first use case for the user generated content at museums we know of.

 class= Do museums need such boosters?
Sietze de Jong, Tapme’s CEO: Proximity, with these touchpoints and data collected, enables us to help museums understand their visitors. Therefore, they can enhance visitor engagement, provide more educational value, and improve the visitor’s journey. It’s really important because satisfied visitors are more likely to tell about their experiences to their friends, or come back to see another exhibition. It also attracts younger generations who have grown up with the Internet and smartphones, and who demand a certain degree of interactivity everywhere they go. In a couple of years, such a demand will be common, so in order to be sustainable in the future, museums should embrace new technologies now. There are other technologies that you could’ve implemented at the Groningen Museum. Why did you choose beacons and
Sietze de Jong, Tapme’s CEO: Beacons, combined with Tapart, provide museums with a toolset with which they can greatly improve the visitor journey and exceed visitor expectations. The technology is pretty simple, but the use cases that it powers are groundbreaking. We truly love working on these big innovative ideas to reinvent and redefine the visitor experience in ways we never thought of before.
We like working with–while deploying large beacon infrastructures may be a bit of headache,’s hardware (reliable beacons) and software (robust Webpanel, Admin App, and flexible API and SDKs) really make life easier. In addition to that, we developed our own tools for mapping and managing beacons. All these tools combined dramatically decreased the time of implementation and easened the platform’s usage.
 width= What’s the best thing about the proximity from the creator’s point of view?
Sietze de Jong, Tapme’s CEO: In the world of beacons, new ideas and implementations emerge almost every day. But in terms of discovering, understanding, and using the full potential of context-aware apps, we’re just at the beginning. There’s so much to explore, so many innovative things to come. The technology is growing extremely fast, and so is the market. It’s great to be a part of it.

Sietze de Jong
CEO & Co-founder
Tapme Media

Sietze de Jong is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tapme Media, a creative digital agency creating next generation experiences for the Web, Mobile and Internet of Things. Tapme Media developed the Tapart platform for museums to enhance visitor expriences. Tapart’s mission is to make cutting-edge technology accessible and easy to use for museums.

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