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The art of accessibility

Knowing art when you "hear" it

A museum of impressive proportions, both in physical exhibition area and in holdings, the Lille Metropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art (LaM) is also practiced in the art of accessibility.

This lovely museum in the heart of Europe, which displays over 4500 artworks including pieces by Picasso, Miro, and Klee as well as contemporary and outsider art, also includes an extraordinary sculpture garden. It closed for renovations in 2006. When it reopened with its new name and its expanded buildings in September 2010, the curators were delighted with a new "high-tech" feature called "Tag My LaM" — a new technology for visitors' use on their smartphones. The museum project, undertaken with IBM and Urbilog, enables visitors to stroll through the museum’s sculpture park and hear information in the language of their choice about the closest nearby sculpture on their smartphones. For visually impaired visitors, an audio version of the information is also available. Further increasing the usefulness of Tag My LaM to both visitors and curators, it can receive visitors’ real-time feedback.

It makes sense that a museum showcasing modern art would embrace an innovative technology such as Tag My LaM. According to an IDG study, released on July 11, 2011, smartphones are taking Europe by storm. The analysts looked at almost 14,000 users in 16 countries (over 11,000 in Europe).  The study1 showed:

Now, at least at the Lille Metropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, people can "know art when they hear it."

1 IDG Global Survey Shows Smartphone Use Growing Rapidly with Regional Differences

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