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.

 

New Project: Plas Heli

It’s great to be working again with Jessica Lloyd-Jones, the artist who we worked with to create the stunning digital fireplace interactives at Caerphilly Castle and Conwy Castle.

This time we’re in a very different setting, Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy. Jessica’s work will be displayed through a projection onto the wall of an open plan working building.

We have been involved in sourcing the most suitable projection systems. The challenge has been to identify a system that will fit in the right space within an existing building to create the projection that client and artist are looking for. Our choice has been a system from Optoma – it will do a great job and we look forward to showing you it in action.

Filming our new tablet tour video

We’ve blogged before about the benefits of a tablet tour and they are certainly proving popular but we thought there has to be a better way to show how they work and why clients are choosing them.

So we have engaged a group of film students from Nottingham’s Confetti Media Group to help bring our storyboard to life. We’re still working to finalise the finished videos but captured these snapshots during filming, including the client team at St Martin’s Church and our friend Phil from project partners, Imagemakers who have been giving terrific support to this project. We look forward to unveiling the videos very soon.

We’d like to give a personal thanks to the team, Oliver Blair, Ryan Harvey, Rowena Brett, for their hard work.

You can keep up with developments at St Martin’s Church on their Facebook page...

Tablet tour video at St Martin';s Church Bilborough

Tablet tour video at St Martin's Church Bilborough

Tablet tour video at St Martin's Church Bilborough

Tablet tour video at St Martin's Church Bilborough

More news from Newhaven Fort

Newhaven Fort is working with East Sussex artist Carol Havard and the local community to create a VE day model of the town. We are delighted that one of our time lapse systems is being used to record the model as it builds between now and the end of the project in October. The first few groups have been hard at work and you can see how they are getting on in this video…

Project Update: The West Yorkshire Hoard

Work is underway on the project to give visitors to the Leeds City Museum a close-up view of the delicate items in this precious hoard of gold items.

West Yorkshire Hoard

Handling West Yorkshire Hoard ring

Working with experts in scanning technology we have identified the best to use for this task. The shiny surface of the gold items bounces light making scanning a challenging task so it is important that we use the most suitable kit for the job.

Scanning West Yorkshire Hoard ring

 

We’ve now got a first test underway. Take a look and see how it’s going…

Testing at Marwell Zoo

We’re testing a couple of products at Marwell Zoo for their Wild Explorers exhibit. This new area, which is about exploration and the discovery of wild animals, will focus on the natural history and conservation of three iconic species for which Marwell has special responsibility.

CCTV will be installed in the paddock for the white rhino, Grevy’s zebras and the scimitar-horned oryx to help guarantee an experience for visitors of these large grazing animals regardless of their location or activity. Live video from these cameras, along with pre-recorded videos, will be displayed around the exhibit so that no visitor need miss an exciting moment with the animals.

We’re also enjoying testing out lighting effects with a moving head gobo light, creating the feeling of being out in the animals’ natural habitat with daylight and dappled lighting effects.

James Cretney, Marwell’s Chief Executive, enthuses that “Wild Explorers will mark the start of a £17m investment programme in the zoo over the next 10 years which will see improved habitats for our animals and more immersive experiences for our visitors. It’s very exciting!”

Installing at Newhaven Fort

We’ve just been down to Newhaven Fort to install cameras in the Grand Magazine to capture timelapse photography of a project that will be running until September 2015.

Newhaven Fort Grand Magazine

A resident artist will be using this space to create a World War II street scene around the theme of VE Day with help from local school children who will help build models to populate the project.

Newhaven Fort Grand Magazine

As we visited they were starting to build the display – we’re looking forward to seeing the timelapse footage to see this grow.

Newhaven Fort display base

Bringing Life Back to the Moors

MoorLIFE Conference

It was great to be at the #moorlife “Bringing life back to the moors” conference this week to hear about the important role the “Be Fire Aware” products have played in raising public awareness of wildfire risk.

We were able to demonstrate some of the products on CD Rom which are also available online and on location at the Edale and Upper Derwent visitor centres in the Peak District.

Sneak Preview: Time-lapse photography at St Martin’s Church, Bilborough

Our time-lapse photography project at St Martin’s Church in Bilborough is coming along nicely.

We have two cameras in place. One looks down from the eaves, eight metres up, onto the floor of the church and will record the restoration activity in the Grade II* listed building, including the laying of a stone floor.

The second is focused on the restoration some precious wall paintings by mid-20th century artist Evelyn Gibbs, believed to be the last surviving examples of her large scale work.

This Heritage Lottery funded project sees local champion of the church, Hilary Wheat,  realising her vision to restore the church to its former vibrant condition establlishing it as a focal point where the local community can address its own challenges such as poor education and health, and low employment.

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