Hirshhorn Eye

“Meet artists in the blink of an eye.” Hirshhorn Eye (or Hi) is a mobile guide that uses image recognition. It is for use inside the Hirshhorn Museum, a modern and contemporary art museum at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The first of its kind, Hirshhorn Eye requires no app and no plugins and is accessed on the web. There is nothing to download or install. Visitors simply visit hi.si.edu. Then they wave their phone past artworks in the museum to see and hear directly from the artists. The guide currently covers three of the museum’s four floors, including the permanent collection exhibition, What Absence Is Made Of.

Images courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Photography by Erin Schaff.

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Lorna Simpson, Flipside, 1991
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Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin, 2016
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Annette Lemieux, Nomad, 1988
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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tyrrhenian Sea, Conca, 1994

We partnered with the Hirshhorn, Antenna International, and Captain & the Fox. The product is the result of many rounds of user testing at the museum, and a development process that was experience-led while also pushing the boundaries of what’s technically possible on the mobile web.

We also developed a flexible, Drupal-based authoring system and powerful analytics for Hirshhorn staff to continuously improve and expand the content. The mobile website is compatible with most Android smartphones, and with iOS 11 and higher. For older devices, native apps are available which provide the same experience.

All work