What Mobile Apps can Learn from Montreal’s Star Wars Identities Exhibition

Posted on June 4, 2012

Source: Please Don't Stare

This weekend I visited the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the Montréal Science Museum. Well, I was flabbergasted by quite how good and cutting edge this exhibition was, at I think it has lessons for how we conceive and design mobile applications.

Star Wars Identities is an exhibition conceived in Montreal; so this is its world premiere. It also shows how cutting edge design and conception is in our city.

The exhibition was designed to be part of the science museum, so has a very different added value to most purely content focused displays. Here are the three key legs to the exhibition:
1. Interesting Content from the Star Wars archives (I was awestruck by the models of the fighters and Star Destroyers).
2. Psychological Concepts of how the human brain works and our relationships with others. This was the science spin.
3. Interactive Media as the backbone of the show.

Every visitor was given a coded bracelet and an earphone. There were marked areas in the exhibit with short videos of about 60-90 seconds introducing a psychological concept and using Star Wars to illustrate it. For example how Anakin and Luke responded to different situations was used to reinforce the concept.

Then, there was a kind of game to play. You used your bracelet to build a character through nine different stations. Most stations were linked to a concept that you’d just seen a video or other informational media on.

Hence, the concept of game-play, gamification of the learning concepts in the exhibit, was used to consolidate the concepts learned! This is a truly marvellous concept.

How Can the Exhibit Concepts be applied to Mobile Applications?

The core goal of Montréal’s science museum is the education of science? As a business, what is your core goal? Making money; but also creating relationships with customers and helping them to make good choices for which they will pay you.

How can you use gamification to help your customers consolidate their activities with your business? Can a mobile application help them with their key activities; and offer them the chance to consolidate their activity? How do we make this fun?

As a retailer, can we offer a mobile application that would provide access to product information, let customers build wish lists, and reward them with points, product speciality recognition and even financial rewards?

Mobile applications can provide a whole new layer of interactive experiences to customers, in the same way Montreal’s Star Wars Identities provided a layer of gamification and learning consolidation to attendees.