The New Media Consortium Releases the NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition

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A new report identifies the top emerging technologies, trends, and challenges that will have a huge impact across museums over the next five years.

Museums across the world use the report as a springboard for discussion around emerging technology.

The New Media Consortium (NMC) produced the NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition, which is being released in a special session at MCN 2013. This fourth edition in the annual museum series of the NMC Horizon Report examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in museum education and interpretation. The report is made possible through the support of the Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts (MIDEA).

Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and significant challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving museum professionals and boards of trustees a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition recognizes BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and crowdsourcing as technology topics expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Electronic publishing and location-based services are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; and natural user interfaces and preservation and conservation technologies emerged in the third horizon of four to five years.

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engages an international body of experts in museum education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in the museum sector. The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

“Museums across the world use the report as a springboard for discussion around emerging technology,” said Larry Johnson, NMC CEO and founder of the NMC Horizon Project. “As this is the fourth year of the museum series, this report also offers an opportunity to think how some of these technologies have unfolded over time. There continue to be long-term channels along which museum technology is evolving. These have influenced the practice of museum education and interpretation in profound ways and will continue to do so.”

The composition of this year’s report reveals that museums are more in tune than ever with the needs of museum staff and visitors," noted Alex Freeman, the report editor and MIDEA's Associate Director. "The BYOD and crowdsourcing movements in the near-term horizon show a fundamental shift in how museums are engaging with their stakeholders, while mid- and far-term topics like electronic publishing and preservation and conservation technologies demonstrate a shift in the way museums are thinking about workflows and how best to care and present an increasingly changing collection of digital and analog content."

The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition is available online, free of charge, and published under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.

> Download the NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition


About the New Media Consortium (NMC)
The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. For 20 years, the NMC and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for learning, research, and creative inquiry. For more information, visit

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Samantha Becker
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