Jan 31

StQry brings the world’s making-of to your phone

You usually use your phone to take pictures or record videos in exhibitions and art galleries. Born from a walk in a zoo, StQry turns mobile devices into the perfect (cultured) companion.

How come a pellican scoop so much water in its beak ? Why does Mona Lisa smile on da Vinci’s painting ? We all have unanswered questions, especially in places of culture like museums and exhibitions.

Same exact kind of question and a visit to Wellington’s zoo gave birth to StQry, an application that – I believe – can diffuse worldwide. Main reason for it is that we live in societies full of meaning, but most of it is hidden to the eye. Some years ago, we saw the rise of QR codes – printed patterns with attached information readable by phones – that would soon spread to every street. However, QR invasion never happened and the small pixel puzzles are now limited again to advertising signs and emails. Something prevented what was supposed to be a major public success.

StQry’s bet, on the other hand, is that the “invisible” content and context of information should be pushed to people, at least in places of culture. The app does support QR codes, but also allows exact visitor positioning, in order to suggest appropriate stories to him. That’s for instance one installation planned at Seattle Art Museum, with another young company called Estimote. In each room, the visitor’s phone is picking signal from three or more Estimote sensors. This gives a relative location of the visitor, then used by StQry to deliver content linked to a painting or a sculpture (StQry user needs to allow geolocalisation before downloading the app).

Visitors are not the only ones to benefit from StQry, compatible with three major mobile OS today : Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Paying subscribers can access to heaps of data about their visitors, which can help rearrange the exhibition : age, nationality, spoken language and type of devices used, alongside spots where StQry was used and dwelling time, as explained in the following video (around 2:30) :

With 60 languages recognised on the app, StQry has already convinced 400 organisations to work with them. But the kiwi-american venture (one of two co-founders is a former Microsoft employee from Seattle) has many more business to seduce than just museums, art galleries and zoos. Imagine for instance how the app could help people orientation in airports and train stations, deliver information about high-quality product or items in stores, auction rooms… An unending story ?

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