Open Conversation – An IPS-Roundware Application

August 31st, 2015 | EVALUATION

As part of the Exploratorium’s Indoor Positioning System (IPS) project, we prototyped a crowd-­sourced, location-­tagged audio app, called Exploratorium Voices, or Open Conversation, that visitors could use on smartphones to listen to short comments from staff, experts and other visitors and to leave their own comments for others to hear. This app was developed with Roundware, an open-source framework that collects, stores, and delivers audio content, integrated with a Wi-Fi IPS that provided location data used to tag audio recordings and determine where a visitor was to play recordings left at or near that location. This formative evaluation looked at visitors’ experiences with Open Conversation:
• What did visitors do with the app?
• What aspects of the experience did visitors find worthwhile and not worthwhile?
• Did the comments they listened to match the exhibit they were at? What did they do when there was a mismatch? How did mismatches affect the visitor experience?
The findings served to identify the potential and challenges of the IPS-Roundware platform in supporting a location-aware visitor application inside a science museum gallery.



Team Members

Joyce Ma, Principal Investigator, Exploratorium
Melissa Zabel, Evaluator, Exploratorium


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1346664
Funding Amount: 296772

Related URLs

EAGER: An Indoor Positioning System for Informal Learning Experiences


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: General STEM | Technology
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Formative | Research and Evaluation Instruments
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media