Art appreciation via an iPhone app

Mitsuo Aida Museum’s iPhone guide for visitors

Art appreciation via an iPhone app

Mitsuo Aida Museum at Tokyo International Forum is making use of the iPhone and iPod touch devices to offer visitors a futuristic guide service named DaMoNo. Kazuhito Aida, the oldest Aida son and current museum director, originated the concept that the system to guide visitors should be both ‘functional and fun to use’. The concept that an application can make use of a building’s local area network to report back positional data was seized and developed by Tokyo software and application developer Koozyt.

With DaMoNo installed on an iPhone or iPod touch, as a user moves through the museum the application automatically detects when a new exhibition space is entered and displays a list of the works in the current area – and by capitalising on the easy to use touch screen users will be able to pay more attention to the art in the room and less on the art of operating the device.

The application automatically detects movement from each exhibition room, enabling an on-screen map to track the user's progress throughout the museum for future reference. Exhibition rooms that have already been visited, and those yet to be seen are displayed in different colours. Furthermore, users of the new system are offered detailed information and commentary on 24 works selected by and commentated on by director Aida himself; one of these works being Mitsuo Aida’s poem stating ‘Passion is written with feeling and movement’. Kazuhito Aida, ‘That we move with logic and reason is an established idea, however, in no dictionary is there a word to suggest that we move “logically and reasonably”’. In keeping with this, visitors can record and share their own passionate impressions at the museum café.

The museum has prepared a total of 30 iPhones and iPod touches for visitors to hire out at ¥200 each.

The 43rd exhibition, entitled ‘Aida Mitsuo himekuri no sekai’ runs until Dec 20. A campaign whereby visitors may use the new guide service without charge extends until Nov 8. In addition, DaMoNo (himekuri no sekai) will be available for purchase at Apple’s App Store for ¥800. Visitors who bring their own iPhone or iPod touch to the museum can receive the same service provided they have downloaded and installed the application beforehand. Finally, as a special service, visitors who have downloaded the application can register at the museum’s front desk to receive free admission until the exhibition closes on Dec 20.

An English version of the application is scheduled for release in mid-November.

Mitsuo Aida Museum
Address: Tokyo International Forum B1,
3-5-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
Tel: 03-6212-3200
Admission: Adults/University students – ¥800
Junior/Senior high school students – ¥500
Elementary school students – ¥200,
Senior citizens 70years old or over – ¥500
Hours: 10am – 5:30pm (admission until 5:00pm)
By Akiko Toya
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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