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Alum Enhances Visitors Museum Experience

August 25, 2021
Various students inside of a campus building walking and talking in between classes

Alum wins Communication Arts Award for the AR project.

Brett Refner (‘08 Graphic Design) and his team at BlueCadet, an NYC and Philadelphia-based experience design agency, worked on an Augmented Reality (AR) project to enhance the museum experience at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan—all while never leaving the users pocket. The project won them a highly coveted Communication Arts Award in the Interactive/Mobile/Tablet/Education category.

“Henry Ford Connect” unlocks new layers of content and empowers visitors to find the objects and stories they’re most interested in. The project is supposed to be a “heads-up” experience, so it guides visitors to real objects instead of taking them through lengthy museum content. The experience also includes audio tours, turn-by-turn directions, AR content, and location-aware search to add virtual layers to the artifacts in the museum. 

The app links up with a selection of Henry Ford’s digital collections—including hundreds of images.

Since the launch of the app, it has been downloaded over 7,500 times on both iPhones and Androids.