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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



The Blanton iTour - An Interactive Handheld Museum Guide Experiment
Anne M. Manning, Blanton Museum of Art, USA
Glenda L. Sims, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Session: HandHelds

Can handheld multi-media technology enhance visitor learning? Is it possible that technology can upstage the object rather than encourage careful observation and critical thinking? The Blanton Museum, in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin's Information Technology Services, developed, implemented, and evaluated an interactive handheld museum guide as part of a larger study on interpretation. The iTour handheld computers, made available to visitors during a three month study on interpretive technology, contained rich content including video of artists, audio of curators, textual information, and creative play components. Research data was collected and analyzed on two main foci: visitor engagement with the exhibit (with and without the iTour), as well as comparison of three different types of handheld computers.