When you go to a museum, you know you gotta get the audio guide. The Museum experience so much deeper when you have your personal guide, but it’s quite silly these museums offer physical audio guide devices when nearly everyone has a huge amount of processing power in their pocket. A group of Swedish students has been bringing more technology into museums through their startup, AudioApps, based in Lund and Stockholm.
The idea behind AudioApps came when two of the founders, CEO Klas Moldeus and CTO Ludwig Lejon taking guides of art museums through a local art society that arranged guided tours. “We understood there is such a big difference when you have a guide with you, and when you don’t. When we didn’t have a guide we didn’t understand anything – or at least we didn’t. We are engineering students,” says Moldeus.
So they came up with the idea of recreating this experience without having a tour guide there with you, and AudioApps was born.
Currently they have two smartphone guides out on the market – One for a small gallery in Stockholm, was well as the National Museum. Currently the team is developing an application for the Nobel museum as well.
Their apps offers video and audio, but might be a little more bare-bones than they would like. In the future they are adding more interactivity and games into these apps to make the visit for young and old people more engaging – stuff like voting on the best piece in the museum and comments.
After you’re done with your museum tour, you’re also going to take the app home with you, which AudioApps sees as an opportunity for museums to to use as a marketing tool. If there is a new exhibition or event, previous patrons can be alerted.
For growth they’re looking to expand further throughout Sweden for the time being, but the rest of the Scandinavian countries are next up on the list. These apps are custom-made for each museum, so they have to be somewhat hands-on, limiting how quickly they can expand.
On top of that, the standard museum hardly ever adds new technology into their lineup, making these sort of decisions a longer process. “You know museums,” says Moldeus. “They don’t say, ‘We need this in a week.'”
The company has been around for 1.5 years, and has 8 students working on the project between Lund University’s VentureLab, as well as the KTH student incubator. They’ve been making some noise around their universities – last week they won a “Dragons at the University” event sponsored by PWC.