The National Portrait Gallery in London has upgraded its public WiFi system to allow visitors easy speedy access, with the help of Devon-based WiFi SPARK.
The National Portrait Gallery has just gone live with the new free access system, which will allow visitors to log in by simply entering a few details about themselves.
Visitors also have a choice to opt in to receive the gallery’s enewsletter. Future login options using Facebook or Twitter would allow the gallery the potential to increase its social media followers, and another possibility for visitors is logging in using an NPG app.
Stephen Reekie, head of Information Technology, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: “The gallery’s WiFi installation was completed in conjunction with the UK Government’s super-connected cities initiative.
“We selected WiFi SPARK to provide us with the required level of public access WiFi support and management. WiFI SPARK integrated seamlessly with our existing physical and virtual infrastructure and provides the gallery not only with the technical management platform we require but also a wealth of marketing and usage metrics.”
All the data and analytics gathered by the WiFi SPARK system belong the museums and galleries – which is also unusual amongst WiFi providers.
Oliver Malkin from WiFi SPARK, which is based in Exeter, said: “We are delighted to be chosen by such a prestigious location as the National Portrait Gallery.
“Museums and galleries have responded so well to the SPARK system that we have developed because it is so flexible. We developed it in-house, so our engineers know it back to front as well, which is also unique. It can be installed onto an existing wireless network and everything is branded as the museum or gallery and not us.
“While free WiFi is a must in museums and galleries, the analytics system and the use of wayfinder and iBeacon to guide visitors around the building means they can carefully target users with information on everything from talks and forthcoming events to café offers and gift shop promotions.”
Public WiFi is governed by tight controls on filters and access, and WiFi SPARK also takes care of all of this including ensuring the service is family friendly. The company is also proud of its 24/7 support desk for the client and WiFi users, which is staff a team of highly skilled engineers.
WiFi SPARK also provides the service for the 2012 Museum of the Year, RAMM in Exeter.
“No 21st century museum in the UK cannot be without free WiFi,” said Rick Lawrence, RAMM’s digital media Officer.
“RAMM’s WiFi SPARK system has more than lived up to expectations. It is totally tailored to RAMM’s specific requirements, and has proven to be extremely reliable. On connection, visitors are taken straight to our website which links all the museum’s online offers. Their attention to detail and customer service is also second to none.”
(from a press release)