Introducing our tablet tour

A tablet tour is a practical way to ensure that visitors can control their own experience of your historic site, museum or gallery at their own pace in a personalised way.

We’ve talked about the benefits of this approach from the client’s point of view when we discussed the tablet tour in comparison to using a Bring Your Own Device approach but what do the visitors think? With help from a team of local students, we’ve put together a video of visitors to St Martin’s Church in Bilborough who talk about how they found the experience of using a tablet tour to explore the church.

Ease of use and accessibility are important to them, as is the fact that it is fun and enhances their visit – exactly what we aim for.

Read how the tablet tour is being used by St Martin’s Church and The Master’s House at Ledbury.

Congratulations to Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum

We’re thrilled for the team at Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum, who this month won the award for Customer Care at the second East Midlands Heritage Awards which recognise excellence and innovation at museums across the region.

The award was judged by a team of Mystery Visitors who reported that the Cottage Museum provides a welcoming environment, with staff on hand to help and inform visitors.  They observed that the displays are well presented and labelled and a hands on approach is encouraged, allowing the visitor every opportunity to have a really enjoyable experience.

The Cottage Museum was also shortlisted for the Award for Engaging Children and Young People for its Young Person’s Museum Guide and the Wendy Golland Award for Quality Research for its research into the history of The Petwood Gardens.

Museum Chairman, Gill Noble, accepted the Customer Care Award from East Midlands Today presenter, John Homes.

Woodhall Spa East Midlands Heritage Award

The awards were part of the East Midlands Heritage Conference 2015, held at Nottingham Conference Centre on 9th June and saw a total of 61 entries from 38 different organisations. The event was organised by three key organisations: East Midlands Museums Service, Museum Development East Midlands and Nottingham Trent University, assisted by Culture Syndicates CIC and Anita Hollinshead and generously supported by Barker Langham and David Weight Design & Artwork.

Working with museum and heritage designers, Querceus, Wide Sky Design created two interactive exhibits for the Cottage Museum as part of its refurbishment project, enabling visitors to explore the photographic archives and are arranged to reflect the two major collections covering Woodhall Life and World War II.

Maintenance at the Military Intelligence Museum

We have had a terrific working relationship with the Military Intelligence Museum in Bedfordshire for ten years now. As well as continuing to create new interactive exhibits for them, such as the First World War exhibit opened last year, we continue to support older exhibits which, over ten years or so, inevitably experience a little wear and tear.

We have recently been working with them evaluating the condition of these exhibits, identifying and necessary repairs, making recommendations to prolong their life further, and putting this all into action.

Military Intelligence Museum Honours and awards

Honours and Awards commemorates individually those members of the Corps who have been decorated or otherwise honoured in recognition of their gallantry or service. It is a perpetual record of all such decorations made to members of the Corps since its formation in July 1940 and ongoing into the future.

Military Intelligence Museum In the Name of the Rose

In the Name of the Rose is an interactive version of a book written to commemorate active service casualties. Completed in 2007, this Roll of Honour is now a central feature of the Museum and enables the user to access increasingly detailed levels of information on each casualty.

Military Intelligence Museum BRIXMIS

The BRIXMIS exhibit tells the story of the British Commander-in-Chief’s Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany, how it was organised and equipped and how it operated.

Military Intelligence Museum Special Operations Executive

The Special Operations Executive interactive exhibit uses just one scene to cover the entire range of activity of the Special Operations Executive. You can read more detail in our case study’.

New Project: Bowlees Visitor Centre

Chris Woodley-Stewart, Director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership which runs Bowlees Visitor Centre, at Middleton, Teesdale, had seen the project that we worked on at Sutton Bank which uses RFID tags to create an interactive experience around key themes. This sparked some ideas of his own.

Chris and the North Pennines AONB Partnership team were looking for a flexible interactive exhibit that would provide interpretation about the geodiversity and special qualities of the AONB, the ways in which the landscaped has been shaped and managed over time  and how it is looked after today. The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also a European and Global Geopark. The exhibit will also support presentations that are made in the Visitor Centre.

Our concept presents a unit with cubby holes which will contain objects with RFID tags hidden within them. These tags use radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from the ‘tagged’ object to a computer and allow the visitor to view content relevant to the object on a screen. It is an ideal way to let users get “hands on” to discover more about a theme through the aspects that catch their interest the most.

Bowlees RFID interactive concept

To the rescue at Conkers

Conkers, an award-winning attraction based in the National Forest is jam-packed with exciting exhibits but one that had been installed fifteen years ago had been out of action for the past three years with the team unable to find anyone who could bring it back to life. In their search they contacted a fit-out company that we have previously worked with and they suggested a call to us.

As ever in these circumstances we were happy to help and had the exhibit up and running again within just a month.

The exhibit is a space about five feet wide, crossed by eight infrared beams. By waving their hand across these beams the visitor should trigger the sounds of wild creatures found around the Visitors Centre: a frog, toad, dragonfly, cuckoo, owl or bee.

Conkers infrared interactive

Our first task was to work out what the exhibit did and how and to then recreate this within the existing infrastructure. We then:

  • Refurbished the infrared sensors,
  • Removed the legacy equipment, and
  • Installed an up-to-date interactive AV system.

Conkers interactive old system

Old system for the Conkers infrared interactive

Conkers interactive new system

New system for the Conkers infrared interactive

We’re pleased to say that the exhibit now has a whole new lease of life.

Read how we also revived touchscreens at Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths.

Read our tips on prolonging the life and health of your hardware and why it’s a good idea to keep your interactive touchscreens clean.