Digital case study

PwC’s IoT-powered Connected Solutions


Las Vegas’s The Mob Museum builds a unique mobile experience, letting visitors channel their inner mobster


Client: The Mob Museum

Our Role: Using our BXT (business, experience, technology) approach, we collectively set a goal with the Museum team to define and execute a strategy that enhances visitor experience pre-, during and post-visit.

Results: In a matter of days, the app was downloaded more than 3,000 times and used in more than 40 countries, and it quickly garnered a five-star rating from major app stores.

Industry: Consumer Markets
Services:  Connected SolutionsDigital



Pushing the boundaries of the visitor experience at an award-winning museum

The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, opened in downtown Las Vegas in 2012. The Museum took over the Federal Courthouse and U. S. Post Office located in downtown Las Vegas, and reinvented the historic space as a destination where visitors could gain a better understanding of the history of organized crime—and the people that combated it. The Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, was an instant hit in a city that the Mob long considered its playground, and visitors have flocked to it, naming it one of the best museums in the country.

In 2018, the Museum debuted its first major expansion, opening new exhibitions, interactive experiences, and a basement-level speakeasy with its own moonshine distillery. By 2019, the Museum was looking to raise the bar again, aiming to set a new standard in visitor and member engagement.

Museum leadership engaged PwC Connected Solutions with an interest in incorporating emerging technologies such as facial recognition into the museum experience. Leveraging our BXT way of thinking, we worked with the Museum team and collectively set out with a goal to define and execute a mobile strategy that enhances visitor experience by incorporating technology, personalizing the museum experience, and extending the customer journey both pre- and post-visit.

Investing in the mobile experience represented a key opportunity for The Mob Museum to enhance and personalize the visitor’s journey. A new mobile experience wouldn’t just match what other leading museums are doing today and help visitors find their way through four floors and nearly 20,000 square feet of exhibits or provide static information about museum content, it would engage visitors in creative ways to expand their understanding of Mob history and give each visitor a unique souvenir: A digital match comparing the visitor’s own selfie with the photo of someone drawn from the Museum’s extensive archives.

In a matter of months, the Doppelgangster was born.

“As visitors are increasingly accompanied by their devices, The Mob Museum app is a unique companion that helps to inform, educate, and complement the museum experience. It is a powerful example of how digital technologies augment our physical world.”

Rob Mesirow,PwC Connected Solutions Leader


“Our visitors love the Doppelgangster feature. PwC helped us craft an experience that brings technology to museum goers in a way that’s creating incredible engagement—before, during and after their visit.”

Jonathan UllmanThe Mob Museum President and Chief Executive Officer


Leveraging facial recognition technology, we gave the Museum a new way to cultivate visitors’ digital experience through BXT (Business, Experience, Technology)


Business: understanding the modern museum visitor

We collaborated with the Mob Museum team to define the vision and priorities for the Museum’s mobile experience and then determined how best to leverage technology to achieve this vision. Naturally, the Museum not only wanted an app that would provide a directory of exhibits and a calendar of upcoming events, it also wanted to take advantage of the full mobile capabilities to which visitors had access through their phones. Why not use the phone’s Bluetooth features to guide visitors during their visit, directing them to interesting exhibits and testing their knowledge with quizzes along the way? Mini-games could also provide an enhanced level of interaction for more entertainment-focused visitors both while in the Museum and after returning home. Facial recognition could be used to create shareable content and increase social media mentions.

Experience: leveraging that unique digital experience to get to know the customer

The Doppelgangster feature allows the Museum to introduce its brand to new audiences while leaving sharing completely up to the user, while the back-end design of the app makes it easy to update app content like games, quizzes and tours.

Perhaps more importantly, a sophisticated analytics platform offers visitor insights that were previously unattainable. A dashboard gives the Museum’s leadership insight into who their users are and how they’re interacting with the app, as well as an understanding of which specific marketing campaigns led users to download the app. By analyzing this data over time, The Mob Museum will be able to further enhance the Museum’s offerings and track marketing campaign successes. The intention is not to repurpose the data of individual users; rather, to understand more collectively what the audience enjoys and responds to. The Mob Museum never saves or shares any user-uploaded images.

Technology: building a unique app to engage each customer personally

The centerpiece of the system would be Doppelgangster, a unique conversation starter that offered a fun and personalized keepsake which visitors could share online or send to friends—even long after they’d left the museum.

The Mob Museum app was built in collaboration with two of PwC’s Connected Solutions providers—Umajin and RealNetworks. Umajin provided the development platform upon which the mobile app was created, allowing us to iterate rapidly with the The Mob Museum and view both major mobile OS prototypes simultaneously. This system dramatically cut down on the development time required to build the app in comparison to traditional methods and tools.

For Doppelgangster, RealNetworks’ SAFR technology was critical. This facial recognition technology sits at the core of the Doppelgangster app, quickly comparing a user’s selfie with the Museum’s database of more than 800 Mob figures, law enforcement officials, politicians and more. The app quickly finds the closest three matches to the user in its database, then displays the pictures side by side so the user can judge for him or herself. With each match, the user can drill down to uncover more information about the selected personality.



The Mob Museum’s app sets a new standard for digitally engaging and personalizing the museum experience

Upon its launch, the Museum’s mobile app and Doppelgangster drew a flurry of media coverage. In a matter of days, the app was downloaded more than 3,000 times and used in more than 40 countries, and it quickly garnered a five-star rating from major app stores.

Although the app has only been live for a short time, The Mob Museum is already leveraging its new analytic capabilities to more deeply engage with visitors and refine its marketing campaigns. In total, the Museum’s enhanced digital footprint (and its many happy visitors) are making a clear impact. Not only does The Mob Museum lay claim to having one of the coolest subjects in the museum world, it now also has one of the industry’s coolest apps.

Rob Mesirow

Rob Mesirow

Partner, PwC US

David Sapin

David Sapin

Partner, PwC US

Alec Massey

Alec Massey

Principal, Connected Solutions, PwC US

Contact us

Rob Mesirow

Principal, PwC US

Tel: +1 (202) 730 4408

David Sapin

US Risk and Regulatory Leader

Tel: +1 (301) 509 7032

Patrick Parodi

Managing Director, PwC US

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