One of the great developments in teaching, learning, and expanding basketball has been the film (and now digital) room. One of the pioneers of using recorded footage to train basketball players was Bill Fitch. In a recent podcast with Bill Simmons, Fitch discusses how film helped him highlight important moments and trends in opponents and in his own team.

Before the widespread use of film, you’d have to hope players remembered instructive plays and moments from previous games so you could re-enact it in practice. Now the film pinpoints the moment. The tool is invaluable when it comes to helping coaches interpret basketball with their players

Currently, the Smithsonian Institute is developing ways to use the digital world to augment and improve interpretation of its museums in Washington, DC. If a visitor passes by an artwork that they find particularly intriguing they are no longer limited to the constraints of an interpretive label or the scarcity of human guides. A mobile app built for the Portrait Gallery can deliver much more information about the art style, the artist, the country of origin, etc.

The Smithsonian via outreach with visitors has identified other ways that a mobile app service can enhance the museum experience:

  • allow users to save content they want to hold on to and return to, once they’ve found it.
  • augmented reality: see from the Mall what’s in each museum; inside each museum get more info on objects and exhibitions
  • what’s on display (but searchable access to collections info for objects not on display too)
  • New acquisitions
  • Highlights
  • “Today in history” archival content; AR overlays of what the Smithsonian looked like before, where this object was found…
  • Tours (audio, video)
  • Biographies of artists, authors, scientists, researchers, curators…
  • Interviews with experts
  • Links to related content from outside the Smithsonian

This isn’t that much different than players, coaches and even basketball fans today looking at a boxscore and seeing that Kevin Durant has scored 30 points on 12-26 shooting. That box score is a nice tease, but the astute and curious want to know more. Today they can use a service like Synergy to pull up specific plays that Durant made in that game to actually get 26 shots, make 12 of them and arrive at 30 points. The footwork, the screens, the passes, the dribbling, etc. that lead to those stats can’t always be easily understood or seen from a box score or even a one-time viewing of the game itself.

Whether it’s the box score in basketball or the painting in an art gallery, the surface features never reveal all there is to know. Mobile apps and other digital services are helping to flesh out those interesting features.