Project Member: Breanna Stephenson
Project Launch Date: May 2018
ROAM Audio Tours is a start-up e-business aimed at creating unique and insightful museum audio tours. An innovative project, ROAM aims to have a lasting effect on the Toronto museum community, becoming a basis for a more accessible interpretive platform. The flagship tour, Crafting Culture: Tools of Humankind through the Ages will feature the collections at a Toronto institution. It will hopefully foster a stronger relationship between accessible museum technology, artifact interpretation, and the local museum community.
Listen to a sample clip from the tour introduction to get a feel for the kind of experience ROAM will offer its users. Music is courtesy of YouTube Audio Library.
This concept will bridge the gap between visitor understanding and the content displayed at museums. Currently, there are very limited options available for immersive audio guide experiences at Canadian museums. While most museums do usually offer daily docent led tours, they often generic, involve large groups, and don’t allow visitors to pause to make their own connections. With ROAM as an option, we will provide an accessible tool to a wider audience who want a higher level of interpretation without the feeling of being rushed.
ROAM tours are presented in a more approachable and versatile format than regular tours. They will not only encourage users to make connections between the objects being discussed on a tour but will also include subtle directional cues to physically guide users through a museum. This way, they don’t need to rely on GPS tracking technology or a mobile network.
Work began on the project in September 2017, with the script finalized and recorded by March 2018. Due to copyright conditions, it is scheduled to privately launch to the iSchool program this Spring. Evaluation on the tour will be conducted after this initial release to make any final revisions.
As the founder, I am responsible for several tasks to develop ROAM into a workable product, such as writing and revising the tour script. But ROAM Audio Tours could not exist without the collaboration of my resource partners. I would like to thank my contacts at MH Studios Toronto, BigServe Graphx, and my web developer Connor McKinnon for their amazing support so far. I would also like to extend special thanks to the Museum Studies program, especially Professor Matthew Brower for his advice and assistance. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow classmates and alumni of the 2018 Exhibition Project class who have provided continuous support and suggestions on how best improve ROAM for the future.