The Soda Academy

Re-imagining the museum and art-viewing experience

Universal Mind was called upon to design, develop and deploy an iOS-based, iBeacon, and mobile experience.

DisArt is a multi-venue Disability Arts Festival that highlights exhibits of Disability Artists from around the world. One such venue, The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), sought a partner to help reimagine the museum and art-viewing experience.

Universal Mind was called upon to design, develop and deploy an iOS-based, iBeacon, and mobile experience. They got to work, creating a guest experience with five different users in mind; guests living with visual, mobility, hearing and cognitive impairments, as well as able-bodied users.

The resulting application, Access UICA, functions as a way-finding tool as well as an exhibition guide, responding to iBeacons located throughout the exhibit. The guest experience is enhanced with audio guides, artist biographies, an interactive map, and details about the works on view, all designed with differently-abled users in mind. Guests can customize their own experience based on their ability and needs. iBeacon technology has never before been used in a museum setting of UICA’s caliber, and the entire experience was a resounding success.

“This application and experience will provide a new level of accessibility and equality to UICA patrons and citizens of Grand Rapids,” remarked Miranda Krajniak, Executive Director of UICA. “With the introduction of this app, UICA will be on the cutting edge of technology-driven accessibility and education.”