The Smithsonian Freer Thinking App won a MUSE Award Honorable Mention

Freer Thinking Muse Award

Main content

Profile picture for user admin

The team behind Mona’s innovative ‘O’ device has won an award for another app that enhances the experience of museum visitors. This time Art Processors collaborated withthe Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art with a focus on accessibility.

The Freer Thinking Audio App won an Honorable Mention 2018 MUSE Award in Mobile Applications.

The ceremony was held on Sunday, May 6 in Phoenix, Arizona at the annual American Alliance of Museums Media and Technology Professional Network’s conference.

The AAM-US’s annual MUSE awards ceremony recognizes outstanding achievement in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) media.

The international annual awards were presented to institutions or independent producers who use digital media to enhance the GLAM experience and engage audiences.

Art Processors partnered with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art to design and develop “Freer Thinking Audio App,” a new location-based app that offers visitors two ways to experience the museums’ collections.

“Accessible design practices not only extend our audience reach, they lay the foundation for deeper relationships to the art through intuitive technology.

“We see the app as a way to welcome and engage all our visitors,” said Courtney O’Callaghan, Chief Digital Officer at the National Museum of Asian Art.

“We plan to build on this user-centered foundation and hope to see it applied in other institutions.”

The app was developed in close collaboration with the Smithsonian Office of Accessibility and is the institution's most universally accessible app for people with disabilities.

Art Processors’ designed to iOS specifically with accessibility in mind, with the audio transcripts of the tour available on the app for hearing-impaired visitors.  

Art Processors, Inc. CEO Scott Brewer had the following to say about the accessibility work and Smithsonian partnership:

“It was clear from the earliest workshops that creating an experience that was accessible to as large an audience as possible was of primary importance for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art.

“We work through all of our projects with universal design patterns in mind and we took those to heart in our collaboration with the Smithsonian and the design of this work.

“Their support with language translation, user expert groups and testing for disability were hugely influential in the successful launch of Freer Thinking and we feel privileged to have had such a wonderful partner to work with.”

About Art Processors

Art Processors are digital experience and software development experts. Art Processors invented the first mobile interpretive solution designed to replace traditional wall labels and signage: The O. The locative platform at MONA in Hobart, Tasmania allows visitors to create inspiring exhibitions free from the limitations imposed by traditional interpretive approaches. Art Processors also pioneered Virtual Tours, enabling the visit to be extended beyond fixed opening hours. Integrated social networking features promote increased participation, and statistical reporting tools profile all aspects of visitor engagement: movement, usage, interaction, and satisfaction. For more information on Art Processors, please visit

About the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

The Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It contains one of the most important collections of Asian art in the world, featuring more than 40,000 objects ranging in time from the Neolithic to the present day. The National Museum of Asian Art is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, which is dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge. For more information on the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, please visit

For National Museum of Asian Art media inquiries please contact 

Office of Marketing and Communications
The Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art
Tel: 202.633.0271

For Art Processors media inquiries please contact 

Alex Johnston
Mona Senior Media Coordinator

Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the many Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and honour Elders past, present and emerging. We respect their deep, enduring connection to their lands, waterways and surrounding clan groups since time immemorial. We cherish the richness of First Nations Peoples’ artistic and cultural expressions.