Toura’s Web-based tool that creates virtual museum tours for handy download onto a visitor’s mobile device is exciting, but experts said founder Aaron Radin needs to get some more big-name clients on board and ramp up sales to fully command the space.
Radin, who launched Toura with co-founder Sayoko Knight Teitelbaum 18 months ago, has already created apps for the Art Institute of Chicago, Washington’s the Smithsonian Institute, the Pace Gallery in New York and the London Royal Academy of Arts. In addition Toura’s app publishing platform has been used to produce some shopping and travel guides (read the original story here).
“It was clear to me that any museum has content or has access to content and either through lack of technology or access to technology, they did not necessarily have a way to take that content and distribute it to what is obviously an increasing audience – peoples’ mobile devices,” said Radin, who offers his proprietary Web-based publishing tool – The Toura Mobile App Producer – to clients for free in exchange for a 50-50 split of the revenues from each downloaded app, which ranges from 99 cents to $5.99.
TAKING IT TO THE EXPERTS
Mark McCauley, the director of technology for the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona, liked that Toura’s app has minimal upfront costs and a shared revenue stream, but worried that it might detract from the visitor’s experience instead of enhancing it.
“Too many times have I seen in other museums, guests who have spent more time looking at a handheld device rather than looking at what is on display directly,” said McCauley, who noted that MIM provides each guest with a wireless audio device which operates in tandem with more than 250 exhibit display screens. “Museums are unique places where the importance of experiencing the objects directly should be center stage to any supporting technology.”