Glass Optical Fiber Enables a New Museum Experience | Glass innovations | The Glass Age | Corning

Glass Optical Fiber Enables a New Museum Experience

Optical Fiber Enables a New Museum Experience

Visitors flock to the new Contemporary Art + Design Wing at the Corning Museum of Glass to see some of the world’s most spectacular glass creations.

But another type of glass – glass they’ll never see –is helping immerse them in the experience even more.

The museum chose a powerful new communications platform, all based on glass optical fiber, to easily enable the bandwidth-heavy network demands of today’s public. Corning’s ONE™ Wireless Platform converges cellular and Wi-Fi traffic into a single, lightning-fast, space-efficient infrastructure.

The all-optical network was the perfect solution for the museum, where the staff wanted visitors’ experiences to be as contemporary and inspiring as the exhibits themselves.

A new digital app, “GlassApp,” equips visitors with video and content about the new Contemporary Art + Design Wing, and also create “Love It Lists” of their favorite art and post them to social media. Meanwhile, they can check the time of the next glass show, stream videos, or even decide what to eat through the online Café menu – all through the app.

“Many museums and galleries offer tablets to view exhibition details. But we wanted to give visitors the ability to use their own devices, tools they are familiar with, and bring the Museum into their lives,” explained Scott Sayre, chief digital officer at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Considering that more than 440,000 visitors pass through the museum each year – each staying an average of at least four hours – there’s a significant amount of data passing over the local network. Only the efficiency and speed of glass optical fiber met the tough performance standards the museum required.

ONE Wireless picks up the visitors’ own cellphone signals, regardless of carrier, and gives them all the bandwidth they need while they access the app and still text and email over Wi-Fi. They avoid the frustration of slowly buffering videos or dropped calls and instead can share, communicate, and learn right from the exhibit floor.

Scott said this new BYoD (“bring your own device”) strategy is the perfect way to showcase the museum’s world-class contemporary exhibits – and the glass optical fiber platform makes it possible.

“It really brings art to life when you get to see it through all those different eyes, from varying perspectives,” he said. “That social element is what we are going for. It’s how people live now.”