Genoa’s Wolfsoniana Museum will now woo visitors by offering them an immersive experience, thanks to the use of NFC and QR code tags on 11 of its artworks. The museum is part of the PALM-Cities Project, which is researching the various ways in which NFC and other contactless technology can be used to distribute personalized content to mobile devices. At the Wolfsoniana when a visitor taps on or scans one of the NFC- and QR code-enabled tags, they will be able to access information about the artwork and its creator through a downloadable app created for the museum. The application also offers two levels of multimedia for visitors – one for children and one for adults, besides a quiz at the end that tests visitors on what they have learnt.
Museums around the world such as the Museum of London, National Museum in Krakow and the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris have used NFC and QR codes to educate and entertain visitors. What’s interesting, however, is the different ways that this technology is being used by the museums: at the Musee du Quai Branly, for instance, NFC can be used to bring the institution’s various musical instruments to life.

Of course, for any such technological efforts to be successful, a few important points need to be kept in mind:

  • A clear call-to-action: If you’ve already put the name of the exhibit and/or its place of origin/creator’s name on the label, you need to give your visitors a clear cut reason for going further and scanning the QR code or NFC tag. Is there going to be an interview at the other end, additional information on a webpage or simply a Facebook ‘Like’ page?
  • Play with the exhibit’s strength: This was done beautifully by the Musee du Quai Branly: visitors could actually hear what the instruments they were looking at sounded like. So be imaginative: a dinosaur skeleton can be brought to life with video and a historical costume can be in videos and photographs.
  • Be consistent: Don’t confuse your visitors by mixing up audio, video, images, website in one section. If you’re doing videos in one section, stick to that, and don’t mix it up with audio clips. It would be a good idea to provide a color-coded or symbol-based guide to visitors on what type of information they can expect from each scan or tap.


NFC and QR codes for museums


May 2024