Commemorating International Museum Day, the Museu Agbar de les Aigües presented at noon today its interactive storytelling app ‘Origin’, an adventure that combines real experience and fiction in an innovative gamified visit of the museum, actively engaging the visitor with a fusion of iBeacon technology and the philosophy of gamebooks, the interactive ‘choose your adventure’ comics of the 21st century.
This pioneering experience among Catalan museums is part of the Museu Agbar de les Aigües’ drive to connect with young visitors and offer a different, innovative visit to the museum to all who come, leveraging the potential offered by new technologies. As Sonia Hernández, director of the Museu Agbar de les Aigües, explains: ‘With “Origin”, our intention is to connect with young people, a very underrepresented segment in many museums, including ours, and add new tools that enable us to offer a more interactive visit to the museum in which the user will feel an active participant. This app allows us to explain the different aspects of the museum in an innovative way: heritage, water management and supply, history, environment, etc.’
Once the app has been downloaded, users can start at home—or wherever they want—the adventure of two twins on an important mission. From then on, the user becomes the hero of an interactive comic and must go to the museum to continue the game and choose how it will end. The ‘Origin’ app consists of three parts: a functional part, which provides basic information about the museum; a cultural part, in which the interactive storytelling unfolds; and an iBeacon technology part, which provides a geolocation function thanks to the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices placed in different parts of the museum that communicate with the visitor’s mobile device.
The interactive game has been developed by the Igualada-based start-up Cubus Games, after winning the Museu Agbar de les Aigües’ HackatH2On. This event, organized in March last year as part of World Water Day, brought together 75 creative minds who developed innovative mobile applications with the goal of bringing the water world and the museum itself closer to citizens. ‘Just as our gamebooks make reading an exciting experience for young people, our intention with “Origin” is to turn a visit to the museum into a memorable adventure,’ says Quim Garreta, Cubus Games’ co-founder.
About the Museu Agbar de les Aigües
The Museu Agbar de les Aigües is a museum about water that occupies the Catalan Art Nouveau buildings of Central Cornellà, the plant opened by Aigües de Barcelona in 1909 to pump water from the Baix Llobregat aquifer to supply Barcelona. Today, Central Cornellà is still doing the same job as a century ago and the original steam-operated machinery coexists with modern impeller pumps. This means that the museum is still a fully operational industrial plant; at the same time, it is a place where past and present intertwine above a common substrate: groundwater. But above all else, the museum is a living space, designed to enhance the different manifestations and approaches to water, with a range of exhibitions and activities that will appeal to everyone.