Monday, March 25, 2013

IRMA Update

We have been working on developing more content for IRMA, but the last couple of weeks have been busy for all of us.  In another month or so more time should be available.  And a major priority will be to add more pictures and links to the articles that are already there.  We wanted to wait until the project had official approval by the Board before going much further.

I'm told that when an iPhone version is available, it should be compatible with an iPad or smaller iPod.  This will be a little more expensive to develop, because the developer's license costs more.  When that happens, we may actually start begging for money, something we've never done before because this blog itself has never cost me one red cent.

Anyway, this has been an exciting project.  Frank and I have been discussing various ways of delivering more information to visitors for a long time, at least 15 years.  I remember visiting another museum where you could rent audio tape machines that provided narration as you toured the displays.  That was quite impressive, but....  The problem there was a huge upfront capital cost for all these tape machines, then somebody has to man a booth to rent them out, collect the money, clean them, try to fix problems, and so on.   So who's going to do that?  And then the hardware will either break down or become obsolete.  We couldn't see that ever working out very well at IRM.  We also talked about an 800 number you could dial from any cell phone, with extensions for the various recorded messages, but again that could be expensive, and somebody has to record everything.  So those ideas never went anywhere.  But with modern technology, the visitors already have their own hardware, the software costs less to install, and we happened to have a software expert who wanted to do this difficult task for his own professional development.  So Irma's time has finally arrived. 

Please let us know if you experience any problems with locating, downloading, or installing the app, or if any problems pop up during operation.  You can email me or leave a comment here.  Operators will be standing by.  Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Randy, Frank, et al.,
The app downloaded fine on my android. Looks good with a great future. This will be a great modern tech addition to convey information about rolling stock and an attractive interpretive tool for general audiences. Seems as though everyone has some sort of smartphone stuck to their heads these days. It is an expected tool at many science type museums. Happy app developing!

John Csoka

Gwyn Stupar said...

This is such a great project. I am so proud of you guys. Gwyneth Stupar