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Minneapolis Institute of Art to launch free mobile app that turns the museum into a puzzle room

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MINNEAPOLIS—September 10, 2018— The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) today announced the launch of “Riddle Mia This,” a free mobile application that uses augmented reality to transform the museum into a giant puzzle room. The app will be available to museum visitors starting September 14, 2018. It takes players through 12 puzzles, encouraging them to explore and interact with works of art as well as Mia’s physical space, as they search for clues across a dozen galleries and on two museum floors.

Winner of this year’s 3M Art and Technology Award, “Riddle Mia This” was created by technology architect Colin McFadden and digital preservation specialist Samantha Thi Porter of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. McFadden and Porter spent the past seven months collaborating with Mia staff, 3M, and GLITCH, a community driven arts and education center for emerging game makers, to develop the app.

“This project was a true adventure that involved just as much time exploring the museum’s galleries as sitting at a computer,” said Porter. “We’re extremely thankful for this unique opportunity to combine our interests in games, technology, and the arts and are excited to have finally brought it to life and share it with the world. We hope the public has as much fun playing ‘Riddle Mia This’ as we did making it.”

“Riddle Mia This” is free and available to download via the Apple App Store and Google Play. For those without a smartphone, compatible devices can be borrowed from the information desk in Mia’s Third Avenue lobby.

“‘Riddle Mia This’ offers a completely new and incredibly fun way to experience the museum,” said Douglas Hegley, chief digital officer at Mia. “It introduces visitors to artwork and galleries they may not have viewed before, encourages them to more closely examine objects as they attempt to solve puzzles, and highlights technology’s ability to enrich and deepen our relationship with art.”

The 3M Art and Technology Award is part of Mia’s commitment to promoting innovative museum experiences for visitors. “Riddle Mia This” was selected as the winner by an expert panel of technology industry leaders that included Kate Boeckman, director of TR Labs Engineering at Thomas Reuters; Tim Brunelle, director, Content and Production at Land O’Lakes; Peter de Sibour, brand design manager at 3M; Jenny Holman, vice president of strategy and solutions development at Clockwork; Jasmine Kar Tang, Ph.D., co-director of the center for writing at the University of Minnesota; and Patrick Kennedy, media & entertainment digital transformation lead of Accenture. 3M is the title sponsor of the award, with additional generous support provided by Accenture.