May 28, 2022

Information Technology: New Media Consortium Releases Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition

Because museums and libraries are closely aligned in a number of areas we thought mentioning and linking to the just released 2015 Museum Edition of the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report would be of interest to some of you. We’ve also embedded a video summary of the report.

The report was released a few hours ago in San Diego.

From the NMC Web Site:

The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition is a collaboration between the NMC and Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC).

Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next five years, giving museum leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

The format of the report provides in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational and interpretive technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice. View the  expert panel work that helped produce the report on the official wiki.

Highlights from the Report

The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition identifies “Expanding the Concept of Visitors” and “Increasing Focus on Participatory Experiences” as having a short-term impact that will accelerate the adoption of educational and interpretive technology in museums over the next one to two years. “Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration” and “Increasing Focus on Data Analytics for Museum Operations” are mid-term impact trends, expected to drive technology use over the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Expanding the Boundaries of Creativity” and “Rise of Private Companies in Museum Education” have been identified as trends with long-term impact, anticipated to shape cultural heritage institutions for the next five years or more.

Significant Challenges Impeding Museum Technology Adoption

A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in museums. “Developing Digital Strategies” and “Improving Digital Literacy of Museum Professionals” are perceived as solvable challenges – those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives” and “Measuring the Impact of New Technologies” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Maintaining Progress in Technology, Workflows, and Infrastructure” and “Privacy Concerns,” which are complex to define, much less to address.

Important Developments in Technology for Museums

Additionally, the report identifies Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and games and gamification as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Location-based services and makerspaces are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; natural user interfaces and the Internet of Things are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.

Direct to Full Text Report (56 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.