Samsung Extends Digital Partnership With The British Museum

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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The British Museum will explore new ways to interact with its collections using Samsung technology

The British Museum has extended its partnership with Samsung for another five years, building on the success of the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC), as it plans to introduce new programmes and ways to expose schoolchildren to the museum’s collection using technology.

The SDDC opened in 2009, allowing children to learn about aspects of world cultures and artefacts using Samsung products. The centre teaches 5,000 children annually, or 20 percent of the pupils who are taught at the museum, and it is hoped that this number will double in the next five years.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, says the organisation wants to reach as many children as possible using the technology as they guarantee the future of its existence.

Digital classroom

Samsung British Museum (5)“There is nothing else like it in a museum in the UK,” he claims, adding that the digital experience brings the artefacts closer to visitors.

During the first phase of the partnership, children have used Samsung technology to learn about the world through methods such as augmented reality (AR) applications and 3D animation. It is hoped that the second phase will allow for more in-depth programmes using more extensive use of image-recognition and AR applications, touch tables and even 3D printing.

Samsung says the agreement forms part of its wider commitment to close the digital literacy skills gap in the UK, which also includes support for initiatives such as the Code Club and the new IT curriculum. It is also offering qualifications and training through the Samsung Digital Academy and has often spoken of its vision of a ‘digital classroom’ made possible through the application of technology.

New applications

“[The SDDC] has established the British Museum as a world leader,” adds Andy Griffiths, Managing Director of Samsung UK and Ireland. “We’re very excited to see how the next five years will go. Anything can happen.”

The first tangible benefit of the new agreement is a new tablet application that uses Gamar-developed image-recognition software to encourage users to identify sculptures in the Parthenon Gallery to discover more information.

Last week, Samsung told TechWeekEurope it was looking towards the enterprise to maintain revenue levels as growth slows in the smartphone market, and said its vast product portfolio meant it was capable of delivering a range of vertical solutions to a range of industries, including education.

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Samsung British Museum

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Samsung at the British Museum