The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, Canada has launched a new App for Smartphones and tablet computers that is designed to give museum visitors a whole new way of looking at its collection.

Through ScopifyROM visitors can scan various artefacts in the museum, giving them access new digital tools to view the item – such as showing an x-ray of a mummified cat, being able to add skin to a dinosaur skeleton, or seeing how the object would have looked like when it was first made.

The app is designed to be family-friendly – some of the information will appeal to adults, while kids will enjoy how they can manipulate objects or see skeletons and animals come to life. There are even a few games that can be played. One teacher is planning to use the app to send her students on a scavenger hunt through the museum.

ScopifyROM was created by Kensington Communications, a Toronto-based production company that made the television show Museum Secrets. Their aim was to create something that would give people coming to a museum a new tactile experience – a way they could interact with the objects, at least digitally.

“We’re pleased to work with the ROM as the debut museum for the Scopify app,” said Robert Lang, Executive Producer, Kensington Communications. “Scopify is the latest project in Kensington’s long commitment to produce innovative interactive media; working with the ROM and its world-renowned curators builds on a wonderful collaboration which began with our hit TV series project, Museum Secrets.”

The app can currently scan over a dozen objects – the visitors actually scan a QR code that is placed near the item, which downloads the information about the object to the app. As this app grows, the developers hope to add hundreds of more items and begin introducing similar versions to museums around the world.

Dan Rahimi, Vice President of the Royal Ontario Museum, says, “ScopifyROM is an exciting and important enhancement to how our visitors experience the ROM. With the debut of the app, a first for all museums, visitors can gather information about our changing natural and cultural worlds from a range of experts throughout the Museum, all in the palm of their hands.”