A museum display case in a smart museum.

The Introduction of Smart Museums & Their Security Systems

When we think about IoT, technological advancements in the medical, commercial, or manufacturing industries come to mind. However, this concept has also found its way into public institutions, such as museums and art galleries. By combining wireless services and complex electrical systems, museums are using these advancements for a range of purposes including security.

These IoT applications use a wide assortment of wireless IoT sensors to preserve and secure artwork, along with creating more dynamic visitor experiences. So let’s take a look at some of the most common ways the introduction of IoT in museums (smart museums) has meant better security and experiences for visitors.

Museum Security Systems – How IoT Has Changed Them

One of the most important elements of IoT systems in museum security is the RFID chip because of its ability to digitally identify and associate objects with each other either based on their geographical signature or another attribute.

RFID-enabled museum security systems offer a wireless means of ensuring that every piece can, on its own, detect disturbances or unwarranted movement. The same system can also be programmed to allow museum managers to account for the inventory, so they can catalog incoming and outgoing artwork, manage atmospheric conditions, and create automated zones for viewers to enjoy.

Monitoring/Tracking Displays

Tagging artwork, displays, and artifacts for inventory purposes have always been an essential part of museum management. Thanks to RFID chips, tagging also helps keep them secure, as the chip logs the geographical position and other meta details about the artwork in the security mainframe. Any changes after being allotted a primary position alert security personnel.

These chips also collect real-time location monitoring and tracking, helping the security team keep taps on artifacts and collect data at the same time. The data collected helps create work orders and analyze threats.

RFID Reader Zones

By creating reader zones around an RFID-enabled piece, or by placing RFID readers near the rooftop, exits, entrances, and windows, security teams can create a ‘no-go zone’ for the art piece. When something passes through the said zone, the alarm gets raised.

The system also works if the thieves try to remove an item’s RFID chip. A tempering signal is immediately sent to the security team along with a location and time stamp. The principle also helps monitor the atmospheric conditions of the museum. A prime example of this is The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). It uses a blend of RFID chips and monitoring sensors to keep track of temperature levels, humidity, and moisture around artworks.

There are also the ‘mobile’ smart museums that have been developed to go out with traveling exhibits. Proximity chips are used here because of the chances of items getting lost. The tags remain active to ensure that the manager can keep an eye on the artifacts and artwork at all times.

RFID only represents a drop in the ocean when it comes to smart security systems for museums. If you want to learn more about how wireless systems are helping enhance museum security our how you can create a more secure environment for your artifacts, give us a call. Americom’s museum security experts would love to help you secure your assets!