To BYOD, or not to BYOD – that is the question! | #MW17-SD

Saturday, April 22, 2017: 10:30am - 12:00pm
Center Street A 3rd Floor

For more than a decade, the cultural field has celebrated and feared the power of the personal device, through which audiences can hold digital collections in the palm of their hands and instantly tap into cultural content wherever and whenever they like. Yet reports of the death of the purpose-built audio tour player seem to have been greatly exaggerated: the longest lived and arguably the most financially stable mobile companies around the world still build their businesses around custom hardware and software. Where does that leave museums and cultural attractions trying to decide whether to assume their visitors will bring their own smartphones, or to provide mobile devices on site?

Veterans and newcomers in the field from both sides of this Oxford-style debate will put forward their arguments in response to the motion, “This house holds that BYOD has failed museums,” and respond to questions from attendees. Debaters include Micah Walters, formerly of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Frits Polman of Guide ID for the motion, with Scott Gillam from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Nancy Harmon from Encurate Mobile for the opposition. The audience will be encouraged to participate and at the end of the session will vote on whether to BYOD or not to BYOD.


Chair: Nancy Proctor