Hello! In addition to your Instruction Manual, we've listed some questions people ask here for your reference. You may also like to join our public Slack channel. Staff are there, as are other folks with boxes who may also have faced whatever challenge you're facing. Plus, there are occasional kitten videos, edtech-related gossip, and company announcements so you can stay in touch.
A Collection is a group of objects which have been chosen to tell a specific story. Each object is represented with a photo for the website, a hi-res file (either PDF, JPG, or a 3D file), and an audio file. You can have a look at all the Collections that live on our web platform on main Collections page:
Any Collection can run on any Box, provided the appropriate permissions are granted.
We recommend 9 objects in one collection, but you could choose to have more or fewer. Collections can be made up of 3D objects, postcards, replica artefacts - anything you like! But each object must have a sticker on it so it can talk to the Box. When you create a Collection you are in control of how other people interact with the objects and with the story you are telling. A Collection is your perspective - so what will you include and what will you leave out?
You can also make your Collections private while you’re working on them (and after they’re finished, too). This will mean they only show up on Heart for you, and for Museum in a Box staff. We’d love it if they eventually end up being visible to everyone though!
For a more detailed walkthrough and help creating a collection check out the Instruction Manual you received when purchasing your kit. If you can’t find it check your emails for the download link. Still can’t find it? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, you can. Just head for your Collections page, choose the Collection you’d like to edit, and go for it. You can also edit individual objects, and that’s probably easiest to do if you look at the List View of your Collection.
At this stage, Collections cannot be deleted. You can mark them private though, if you’d prefer they’re not visible to others.
The basic process is:
To do that last step, you’ll be accessing the Box directly, via a special web address in your web browser, that only you can see. It requires your Box to be on WiFi, so you’ll need to do that first, using the WiFi card you should have received with your Box. (It’s in the little brown envelope at the bottom of the Box, underneath all the other stuff.)
Here’s what to do:
After setting up your new collection and deciding on a default license you’ll reach the ‘Add your first object’ page. (We're working on a feature where if you have a spreadsheet of your Collection objects, you can upload a .CSV file as a shortcut.)
We don’t have a way to delete an object from a Collection yet. This is mainly because it gets a bit gnarly if the object you want to delete already lives on a Box out there in the network.
There’s no limit on how many Collections you can create though, so, you can always just add more objects, and just configure the ones you need (and let the ones you don’t need just fade away).
To get any new audio on your box: first plug in get your box plugged in and make sure it’s connected to WiFi. The Box will try to do an update itself, when you turn it on.
Also, you can use your Update Card (small, pink, came in a little envelope with your Box) - if you boop that on the Box and your Box is on WiFi, it will check for any new content (Collections, audio, etc), and even any software updates for your Box. So, if there’s an issue when you’re setting a new Collection, you might like to try an update using the Update Card.
You can currently upload audio in MP3 or WAV format. To convert another type of file to an MP3 or WAV you can use iTunes or Audacity, as well as many free online converted tools.
Licenses let people see where the content in your collections comes from and whether if they’re allowed to copy, distribute, edit, remix, and build upon your Collection, all within the boundaries of copyright law.
We've designed the Collections interface to support attaching different licenses to different elements of each object. For example, you can assign a Creative Commons license to the photo of the object you use for the website, and then full copyright to both the hi-res print file, and the audio track you produce to be played when the object is booped. Or, you could attach a CC0 license to everything so it can be used freely anywhere, anytime!
We love it when museums open up their content for other people to use and be creative with, and encourage you to do the same.
To learn more about the licenses and what they mean visit Creative Commons.
Here are some handy examples of institutions that have opened up much of their collections for public use:
A Museum in a Box is the centre of it all! It’s an electronic device with a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, two speakers, an RFID reader, and a few other bits and bobs. When you place a Collection object (and its NFC sticker) on top of the Box, it will play you an audio response.
If you’re using a Make Your Own kit, you’ll need to get the Box on WiFi (see below). Doing that will do two things:
Each Box comes with a power cord. Just plug that into the back of the Box in the port that’s labelled POWER. The Box needs about 15 seconds to boot up, and you’ll know it’s ready to use when the Box speaks to you and says READY, or you see the big green light on the front come on.
We help you do this using one of our Admin Cards, which is bright yellow and says “Connect to WiFi.” You’ll find that in a little brown envelope in the box your Box came in.
Your Box has to be turned on. Then you just boop the WiFi card. Basically, what it does is broadcast its own WiFi network, called “museuminabox”, which you’ll need to join using the normal “join a WiFi network” method you normally use, either on your phone or computer.
Then, you should see a popup that asks you to select your WiFi network name and add the password, if there is one. Then, the Box will try to join that network, and will speak to you letting you know it was able to join, or not.
We have had some challenges when there’s a very large WiFi network with lots of different nodes, if the password changes a lot, or if there’s an extra “you’re OK with Terms & Conditions” checkbox. We’ve created an “Advanced WiFi Configuration” form you can try when you’re accessing the Box itself (via that http://box.local:1880/ page).
Do please let us know if you need help.
Head to your Collection’s page on the Heart website, and look for the ‘Add this Collection to your Box’ link:
We’ll do our best to figure out the problem and where applicable repair or replace your Box. We’ll definitely try to get you up and running again if we can!
When you put an object or postcard on the Box, we call that action a BOOP!
Why, yes, we do. Each boop is noted on what we call the Boop Log. This is stored on your Box in .CSV format, and if your Box is online, each boop is sent back to Heart and displayed on the site.
The Boop Log is designed to be non-invasive. It records which object was booped, the date and time it was booped, and for how long.
Yes, but only for your public Collections. And that works both ways - you can only see boops from other people’s public Collections on the main Boop Log.
You and Museum in a Box staff can see boops of private Collections.
Anyone who buys a Make Your Own kit will also receive at least one user membership. This will allow you to create an account on our members-only web platform, which we call the "Heart". You will be able to create as many Collections as you can conceive, and publish them happily to any Boxes you may have at your disposal.
The membership(s) you purchase as part of a Make Your Own kit will last for 12 months from the date you create your account on the Heart system. We will be in touch one month before that date to help you organise ongoing membership, if you so desire it.
When the year of subscription ends, your Collections become read-only. That means you won’t be able to make any new ones, or edit existing ones. Any Collections you have already installed on your Box(es) will live on, unaffected.
We have heard from a number of prospective customers that paying a month-on-month or annual fee is difficult in some professional circumstances, for example, where you're in a university context and receive project-based funding. So, we're happy to offer a lifetime membership to support your ongoing use of Museum in a Box.
It's a one-off purchase that can be attached to any one user account, and can be purchased as a separate product in our online shop. You'll just need to let us know which user account to attach it to, once you've signed up to the Heart system to start making your Collections.
All of our order handling happens through another web service called Shopify. When you ordered your Box, you would have created an account over there, so it’s helpful if you can have a look around the Shopify website to see if your issue can be resolved there.
But, we can also see an admin view of orders at this end, so if you’re stuck, you can contact us, and let us know your order number so we can help you out.
We don’t currently offer refunds. If you don’t want your Box anymore, do please consider returning it to us so we can add it to our Donation program.