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New technologies are making the museum visit more exciting. From 3-D scanning and 3-D printing, to virtual reality and special apps, these technologies are being applied in a multitude of ways. Still other technologies are being tested and developed as museums seek to ever broaden public access.

The American Museum of Natural History. Has a new app called Explorer. It uses hundreds of Bluetooth hotspots to navigate visitors around its halls to artifacts that may interest them the most.Whenever you raise your phone, the thing you’re immediately in front of is at the top of the app. The app can also customize your tour.

Some museums are already using the latest 3-D printing technology to make replicas of historical artifacts to give visitors a new way to interact with the object without damaging the original.

3-D scanning tools also allow for detailed analysis of fragile specimens.

An example of that is an exhibition traveling around the country called “Mummies: New Secrets From the Tombs” organized by Chicago’s Field Museum. It used a medical CT scanner to “unwrap” the mummies. Museum-goers can peek under the wrappings by manipulating large table-top computer scans placed alongside the delicate specimens to see their clothes, hairstyles and the jewelry they took to their graves.


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