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February 26, 2015

National Portrait Gallery adds free wi-fi to collection

Museums and galleries are increasingly supplying high-quality wi-fi installations.

By Alexander Sword

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has upgraded its wi-fi system.

Working with WiFi SPARK, the gallery will now provide a free system that will allow visitors to log in by entering personal details.

The data and analytics gathered by the system will be the property of the National Portrait Gallery. The company also takes care of the tight controls on filters and access that apply to public wi-fi systems, providing a tailored "family-friendly" version.

Future login options being considered include login through Facebook or Twitter or through a bespoke NPG app.

Stephen Reekie, Head of Information Technology, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: "The Gallery’s wi-fi installation was completed in conjunction with the UK Government’s super-connected cities initiative.

"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."

Oliver Malkin from WiFi SPARK said: "While free wi-fi 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."

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