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New Apps at Chinese Museums
   2015-06-15 13:31:46    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Yangyang

A job hunter scans a QR code at a job fair in Taiyuan, northwest China's Shanxi province, March 6, 2015. [Photo: CFP]

Smartphone apps and bar codes are increasingly changing the way Chinese audiences interact with their rich cultural heritage in museums.

Chinese museums have made the push to enhance the their experiences through popular technology.

The Forbidden City has been at the forefront of this jump forward with their latest app 'forbidden city porcelain hall' or 'gu gong tao ci guan' in Chinese.

Liu Jun is a museum research scholar from Jilin province, he commented on the new museum app.

"Audiences can use their phone to scan a code and then get more information on on their phone. It has added a new form; It will be popular with children from the post 90's or the post 00's era. It is a blend of different time periods."

The new app looks to make cultural rich experience a bit more enticing for the visitors. It offers pictures and explanations of over 300 porcelain relics at the Forbidden City. It has also categorized them in an easy to read and elegant format.

Professor Mao is the former chief editor for Beijing Language and Culture University Press and expert in Chinese historical culture. He has a go on the app and offered his opinions.

"The design of the app is very pretty. It also offers a great 360 view of the ceramic works of the Forbidden City. Although I enjoyed using the app I would be more interested in APPs that focus on the entire Forbidden City as apposed to those that just focus on the ceramic works there. I think young people would find this more interesting, and an app that focuses on ceramics may not appeal as much to as mass market."

The Forbidden City is not the only major exhibition of China's history to modernize its approach to entice visitors.

The Natural History Museum of Shanghai also has an app highlighting its exhibitions, as well as introduced a bar code system that offers the same effects for patriots that may not have had the chance to download the app and get a more detailed experience. The app actually allows viewers to see which sections of the museum are most popular, their contents and then design a personalized route through the museum, focusing on their areas of interest.

Gu Jie Yan is the vice president of the Shanghai Natural History Museum.

"For example if you were to choose several exhibitions you are interested in such as dinosaurs and whales, and do a bit of homework before coming to the museum we can help you design a personalized route so you see the things you like. "

The integration of technology into China's exhibitions, whether they be museum or historical sites is happening all over the country. So far 208 public and private museums in Shannxi Province have opened online exhibitions.

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