‘Light at the Museum’: Philips survey reveals 7 out of 10 people want to receive information about exhibits on smartphone

Landmark pilot for connected lighting mobile apps in Dutch museum could provide template for museums, hospitals and supermarkets of the future.


Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, today announced new findings from a visitor survey conducted in partnership with the national museum for science and medicine in The Netherlands, the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden. The survey reveals that seven out of ten people prefer to receive information on their mobile devices tailored to their location when visiting a museum or exhibition.

The survey was undertaken at an exhibition at the museum that is a pilot project for Philips’ LED-based connected lighting system for indoor positioning. Museum visitors are given a tablet with a pre-installed app containing rich multimedia content about the exhibits. Acting as positioning beacons, the individual lighting fixtures transmit their location to the tablet’s camera which triggers the app at specific locations. The survey revealed that:
67% of visitors liked the fact that the tablet automatically provided additional relevant information at the various information points
63% of visitors said that the tablet made the visit to the exhibition more enjoyable and interesting
50% of visitors aged under 50 said they would visit museums and exhibitions more often if there were tablets available to provide additional information or to guide them around a special route.

"We now know that offering a location aware and interactive experience encourages people to visit our museum more often.’’ said Dirk van Delft, Director of the Boerhaave Museum. ‘’What is also really exciting and innovative is that we were able to achieve this by using energy efficient lighting, giving us a double advantage.’’

Visitors under 50 or the ‘’smartphone generation’’ also said they were open to trying connected lighting mobile applications in a variety of settings, with almost 50% of all respondents saying that they would like to receive location-based information and use way finding services offered via an app in hospitals, shopping centers and supermarkets.

‘’The survey findings show that we need to think of lighting differently. Lighting has gone beyond mere illumination. We can now deliver great quality and highly energy-efficient LED lighting that acts as a positioning grid to deliver targeted information, enriching people’s experiences of the places they visit, whether it’s a museum, supermarket, airport terminal or any large public indoor space,’’ said Jella Segers from Philips Lighting.

Notes to Editors:
Philips’ connected lighting system for indoor positioning
The system works by using lighting fixtures that form a dense network that not only provide high quality light but also acts as a positioning grid. Each fixture is identifiable and able to communicate its position to an app. Data transmission is one-way only and no personal data is accessed. Communication with the smartphone or tablet is by Visual Light Communications. Philips is also trialing the technology in supermarkets in Europe.

Information on the survey in the Boerhaave Museum, Leiden, The Netherlands
The survey was conducted by a questionnaire which was completed by people visiting the “100 Years of Philips Research” exhibition at the Boerhaave Museum during June 2014. Questions were either partially categorized or closed, and the respondents were not encouraged in any way as to how they should reply to questions. The survey was representative of all age groups and based on a sample size of 150 visitors.