Muttart Conservatory Smartphone Tours Satisfy Plant QR-iosity
November 08, 2011
Visitors to the Muttart Conservatory are now able to access walking tours of the pyramids from their smartphones using QR codes posted at the facility.
A QR code (Quick Response code) is a matrix barcode that is readable by smartphones with cameras. Users can access a webpage via their phone’s browser by scanning the QR code. The walking tours are on webpages that have been optimized for mobile access making them quick to load and easy to navigate.
By scanning a QR code at the entrance to the Arid, Temperate and Tropical Pyramids, visitors can learn about the plant life represented in each of those biomes through photos, facts and quizzes. The QR code in the Feature Pyramid will point users to information about the current display as well as the dates and themes of future displays.
“Every time someone visits the Muttart Conservatory, we have the opportunity to educate them about the ever-changing botanical world,” says Heather Seutter, Director of the Muttart Conservatory. “With these mobile walking tours, we’re able to meet the needs of our customers by providing alternative ways to learn about our outstanding collection, and the technology delivers it right to the palm of their hands.”
The QR code walking tours were written by the Public Interpretation staff who lead the popular weekend tours at the Muttart Conservatory. The tours were then reviewed, formatted and enhanced for mobile access to ensure ease of use for Muttart visitors.
“With this technology, we are able to provide visitors with better information about the Muttart plant life and enhance the visitor experience,” says Paul Strandlund, Web Operations Manager. “We worked hard to make the information accessible to people with smartphones and ensured that it was written to be informative and usable by a diverse group of visitors.”
While the mobile walking tours were created so visitors can explore the pyramids at their own pace, each tour is designed to last approximately 15 minutes. The tours give visitors an introduction to some of the flora in each of the pyramids, including a broader botanical and horticultural context of the plants.
To access the QR code tours, smartphone users will need to download a free application. Some recommended applications include: QR Reader (iPhone), QRDroid (Android), QR Scanner/QR Scanner Pro (Blackberry). Once installed, users will need to run the application and point their phone’s camera at one of the QR Codes found in the Muttart Conservatory pyramids. Once the QR code is captured, the phone’s web browser will automatically load the webpage that contains the walking tour.
Please Note: Third-party applications have been tested to work, but are not supported or associated with the City of Edmonton.