It is best to consider all these apps flawed works in progress. So much more should be possible. Imagine standing in front of an object with an app that, sensing your location, is already displaying precisely the right information. It might offer historical background or direct you through links to other works that have some connection to the object. It might provide links to critical commentary. It might become, for each object, an exhibition in itself, ripe with alternate narratives and elaborate associations.
Rothstein goes on at length to talk about why none of these apps measure up to the experience he wants in the gallery and there’s a point to that. Each and every visitor walking in our doors is likely to expect something different from an app and every visitor is going to respond differently to what we provide. My point is that it is our responsibility, collectively, to try new approaches and provide as many entry points into content and the museum as possible.