Cambridge Museums

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For 2019, see Fitzwilliam Museum

Previous client: Ina Pruegel <> (now left Cambridge)

Suggestion for 2018:

Anthropometrics Today

In the 1880s every scientist in Cambridge had their head measured to test for correlations between head size and degree class. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, a major public exhibition will reconstruct this experience. You will use computer vision to measure visitors' profiles, matching against archive records of thousands of ex-students to identify a (possibly famous) historical twin, and then render a simulation of a new "handwritten" record card that can be accessed online to compare your future grades to theirs.

Suggestion for 2017:

History Phone

There are historic objects around the Gates building that have stories to tell - if only they could speak! Imagine walking up to one of the display cases, and using your phone to start a chatbot session as if you were speaking to the object itself. We will provide Bluetooth location beacons so that an Android phone can detect which object it is near. Your application should respond to questions, and maintain a conversation, with style and content that is customised to each object.

Ina says:

yes, that could work well. We are running a project at the moment which is called 'Why is this here?' which basically looks at weird objects in the collections and tells their stories, so we would have content and information about those objects for the bot.

I will find a museum as a testing ground as it would be really good to do something at one of our sites. I will confirm which one it will be, it's there anything else you would need at this point?

My response:

I suggested using display cases in our building because it is relatively easy to deploy location beacons here, and also because the team could perhaps demonstrate their application live to the demonstration day audience. If we wanted to get the team to take a look at a museum site, that could well be interesting for them, but we'd need to think about how to do the demonstration here.