Tech Meets History: Museum Launches Digital App for Enhanced Tours

By January 16, 2024Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Jan 16, 2024) In celebration of the one-year anniversary of its Permanent Exhibition, Los Altos History Museum is set to unveil an innovative digital app on February 8th, offering a guided introductory tour and multilingual content to enhance the visitor experience. The launch event will extend throughout the weekend, with the first 100 attendees receiving a complimentary gift bag.

Entitled “Making Connections: Stories from the Land,” the Exhibition promises an engaging, interactive journey through local history. Visitors traverse the hills, creeks, valley and town itself, uncovering pivotal events that transformed the area’s landscape and the diverse tapestry of individuals who contributed to its evolution. Touchscreens deliver historic timelines, listening stations feature compelling video narratives, and artifact cases showcase relevant objects.

To ensure inclusivity, the Museum is utilizing the Stqry app to offer translations in 23 languages for a guided tour and artifact descriptions, and audio descriptions specifically designed for the visually impaired. Stqry is a storytelling platform that connects people, places and stories by harnessing the power of technology to allow visitors to engage deeper, explore further, and discover more.

Museum Educator Lillie Moore spearheaded the app’s layout, adding curated content, incorporating visuals, and overseeing translations. “Through this app, we aim to offer comprehensive artifact descriptions to all visitors, now accessible in multiple languages to serve our wonderfully diverse community,” Moore said.

To access the content, visitors can easily download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store onto their smartphones, enabling access both onsite and remotely. Museum docents will be available onsite to assist visitors with app download and navigation.

Looking ahead, the Museum hopes to expand the app’s usage beyond the Permanent Exhibition, envisioning guided tours for changing exhibits, downtown walking tours, and even driving tours exploring the rich history of Silicon Valley.

“In addition to enhancing visitor accessibility, this app serves as a training tool for our docents and exemplifies a technological leap, bridging the gap between past and present,” Moore added. “We remain committed to continually update the app with fresh content.”

Since its opening on February 11, 2023, several enhancements have been added to the Permanent Exhibition, including four new videos in the Town section and a 3D touchable topographic map. Donors Donna and John Shoemaker and The Friends of Nan Geschke funded additional seating for visitors. And the Education Committee will roll out new educational tours for elementary school students in March and April.

The Museum welcomes visitors Thursday-Sunday, noon-4pm, with admission free of charge. To learn more about the Permanent Exhibition, visit losaltoshistory.org/MakingConnections.

 

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the historic J. Gilbert Smith House, built in 1905 on 14+ acres of apricot orchards planted by Mr. Smith. In 2001, Los Altos History Museum opened the modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibitsstore and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

 

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

 

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,  eward@losaltoshistory.org

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