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Audioguides & apps
An app for all occasions

In our latest apps and audioguides round up, we highlight a talking park bench and an app that was developed using staff voices to give authentic local accents

By Kate Corney | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 3


Guggenheim’s app in celebration of James Turrell

In June, Guggenheim New York launched a multimedia mobile app in celebration of the James Turrell Exhibition. The interactive app includes multimedia guides to current and past exhibitions; interviews with artists, curators and exhibition designers; access to more than 1,200 works in the permanent collection; and explorations of the iconic building, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

App users can create their own virtual collection by selecting favourite works from the museum’s holdings and special exhibitions. There are also educational tours for families and children as well as verbal imaging descriptions, text enlargement options, and, for iOS devices, VoiceOver technology for visitors who are blind or have low vision.

The app provides transcripts for audio and closed-captioning for videos (iOS only) for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing and is t-coil compatible. Social media access is available, encouraging user interaction and content sharing.

The Guggenheim app, sponsored by Bloomberg, was developed by the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Tristan Interactive, part of the Espro Acoustiguide Group.

“The Guggenheim app is an essential educational tool that will enhance the understanding and appreciation of the permanent collection and special exhibitions, not only within our museum walls, but also around the world,” says Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The app is free of charge and we’re grateful to Bloomberg for its support.” The app is available for download at www.guggenheim.org/app

 


PHOTO: © adriano castelli

Guggenheim celebrates James Turrell’s first exhibition in a New York museum since 1980
 


The free, interactive app enables users to explore the Guggenheim’s collections
 
A park bench with a sound difference

Visitors to Llanyrafon Manor grounds in Torfaen, Wales, UK can hear about the local bird population as well as a snippet of each bird call while sitting on a bespoke solar-powered audio bench.

The Audio Bench by Blackbox-av advises visitors where to look from their vantage point on the bench to view various nesting birds. Visitors to the manor interact with a panel on the bench to play the messages, which have been recorded in both Welsh and English.

Blackbox-av has incorporated solar electronics in the 6ft (1.8ft) teak bench for public use. Several of the rear bench struts are replaced with the custom sound point to seamlessly integrate the audio into the bench and the front button panel offers visitors the option of two buttons playing five sequential messages, recorded and uploaded by Blackbox-av. The custom solar electronics are designed to contend with the full variety of Welsh weather.

Blackbox-av specialises in AV solutions and software for the museum and heritage sectors. The new design has been added to its existing range of outdoor interpretation products.

 



A solar-powered audio bench advises visitors about the local bird population
Wiretag lets viewers ‘jump in’ to sound track

Dataton has launched a Wiretag transponder for audioguides. The Wiretag provides a smart link between audio and video as part of the Pickup audioguide system. Visitors carrying the Pickup audioguide point and click at the Wiretag, located by displays or other video sources, and hear the show’s audio from the correct point. The transponder works up to 8m (26ft) away from the display with visuals presented using the company’s Watchout software.

“Wiretag allows the direct integration of a Watchout show with our Pickup audioguide system,” says Lars Sandlund, chief operating officer, Dataton.

“Simply point and click the Wiretag with a Pickup audio guide, and you jump straight into the sound track at the correct point in the show, regardless of how much time has elapsed.”

The Wiretag is primarily designed for use with Dataton’s new Dataton Watchpax media server, which runs the Watchout show, media control and image-manipulation software. The Wiretag transponder and Pickup audio-guide can also be incorporated in audiovisual systems that use Watchout.

 



Wiretag allows direct integration of a Watchout show with the Pickup audioguide system
 


Wiretag works up to 8m (26ft) away
 
Qin – The eternal emperor and his terracotta warriors

For the exhibition Qin – The eternal emperor and his terracotta warriors, which runs until November, the Bernisches Historisches Museum in Switzerland offers both an app and an audioguide.

The mobile application is for iPhones or Android devices and offers information about China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, who created the Chinese Empire more than 2,000 years ago, and his monumental tomb with its terracotta army. Approximately 220 original exhibits from China’s Shaanxi province, where the tomb was discovered in 1974, provide an understanding of the birth of China and bring the world of the First Emperor to life.

The app’s aim is for visitors to explore the history of China in an entertaining way and help them to experience the items on display better. Maria Khayutina, the exhibition curator, and Regula Wyss, head of education and outreach at the Bernisches Historisches Museum, selected 30 items, including the terracotta figures, which highlight and reflect the variety of the exhibits.

Museum media company Linon Medien GmbH, Berlin recorded 30 two minute-long commentaries to accompany each item in understandable and entertaining language and translated these into French, English and Italian. Linon director Julia Oldemeier says: “It’s hardly surprising that museum visitors are turning to their smartphone rather than to an audioguide. Unlike the audioguide that has to be returned after it’s been used in the museum, you can have the app before you come to the museum and keep it afterwards.”

 



The app enables users to learn more about Emperor Qin and the Chinese Empire before arriving at the museum
 


The app enables users to learn more about Emperor Qin and the Chinese Empire before arriving at the museum
 
Antenna’s SmartRack for iOS and Android devices

Antenna International has developed the technology to let museums and cultural attractions offer visitor experiences on both iOS and Android platforms.

The multi-platform hardware uses Antenna’s bespoke device casing and its new SmartRack™ – a modular charging system designed for iOS and Android solutions, as well as Antenna’s own X-plorer™ system, the new XP-Iris 2™. Each charging rack has a built-in computer allowing remote access to devices, facilitating content uploads and updates, player diagnostics and repair, and activity data analysis of every visitor device.

In partnership with Samsung, Antenna’s solution for Android devices was revealed at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where visitors were able to enjoy the cultural experience on the Samsung Galaxy 4 player.

Antenna also opened two iOS platform-based tours using its iTouch solution at MoMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

 



Attractions can offer visitor experiences on both iOS and Android using SmartRack
Stockport Air Raid Shelters adds audioguide

Stockport Air Raid shelters, UK has introduced an audioguide using staff voices, as part of its refurbishment. The Guide ID Podcatcher platform was used to create the audioguide tour, which is offered to visitors within the admission fee.

The tour is an hour-long highlight of the underground tunnels which civilians sheltered in during World War II. Using the audioguide, visitors receive a short introduction at each stop and then use their handsets to hear more in-depth information. For the content, staff made on-site recordings to reflect the local accent. Sound effects were used to create the effect of standing in a tunnel. The staff were trained and directed by project partner Open Production, which also added the sound effects.

Mitchell Brown of Guide ID says: “An issue was the fact that the tunnels are very damp and can interfere with hardware. The Podcatchers can be used inside and out, but the triggers can’t, so we have special outside water-tight IDentifers (triggers) which we used in the tunnels.

Guide ID supplied all the hardware and software. Brown adds: “The system’s so simple in use that installation is performed by the organisation and the audio upload is done via the internet. The ‘plug and play’ system can be run from any computer with internet.”

The Podcatcher platform also provides a tool for visitor research, evaluation and marketing to promote other Stockport visitor sites. Stockport councillor Iain Roberts, says: “Stockport Air Raid Shelters is one of the most poignant visitor experiences in the UK, offering an unparalleled insight into life on the home front.”

 



The new audioguide enables visitors to hear stories about the people who used the tunnels during World War II
 


Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the UK, designed to accommodate up to 6,500 people.
 
 


The new audioguide enables visitors to hear stories about the people who used the tunnels during World War II
 
 


Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the UK, designed to accommodate up to 6,500 people.
 
COMPANY PROFILES
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
iPlayCO

iPlayCo was established in 1999. [more...]
WhiteWater

WhiteWater was born in 1980 with one clear purpose, to create places where families unite and make j [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World
Last July 7th, Red Raion took part in the opening event of FICO Eataly World, the Italian theme park dedicated to food - the only one worldwide! Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
IAAPA Expo Europe Promo – International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
13 Oct 2022

VAC 2022

The ICC Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
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©Cybertrek 2022
Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
Audioguides & apps
An app for all occasions

In our latest apps and audioguides round up, we highlight a talking park bench and an app that was developed using staff voices to give authentic local accents

By Kate Corney | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 3


Guggenheim’s app in celebration of James Turrell

In June, Guggenheim New York launched a multimedia mobile app in celebration of the James Turrell Exhibition. The interactive app includes multimedia guides to current and past exhibitions; interviews with artists, curators and exhibition designers; access to more than 1,200 works in the permanent collection; and explorations of the iconic building, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

App users can create their own virtual collection by selecting favourite works from the museum’s holdings and special exhibitions. There are also educational tours for families and children as well as verbal imaging descriptions, text enlargement options, and, for iOS devices, VoiceOver technology for visitors who are blind or have low vision.

The app provides transcripts for audio and closed-captioning for videos (iOS only) for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing and is t-coil compatible. Social media access is available, encouraging user interaction and content sharing.

The Guggenheim app, sponsored by Bloomberg, was developed by the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Tristan Interactive, part of the Espro Acoustiguide Group.

“The Guggenheim app is an essential educational tool that will enhance the understanding and appreciation of the permanent collection and special exhibitions, not only within our museum walls, but also around the world,” says Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The app is free of charge and we’re grateful to Bloomberg for its support.” The app is available for download at www.guggenheim.org/app

 


PHOTO: © adriano castelli

Guggenheim celebrates James Turrell’s first exhibition in a New York museum since 1980
 


The free, interactive app enables users to explore the Guggenheim’s collections
 
A park bench with a sound difference

Visitors to Llanyrafon Manor grounds in Torfaen, Wales, UK can hear about the local bird population as well as a snippet of each bird call while sitting on a bespoke solar-powered audio bench.

The Audio Bench by Blackbox-av advises visitors where to look from their vantage point on the bench to view various nesting birds. Visitors to the manor interact with a panel on the bench to play the messages, which have been recorded in both Welsh and English.

Blackbox-av has incorporated solar electronics in the 6ft (1.8ft) teak bench for public use. Several of the rear bench struts are replaced with the custom sound point to seamlessly integrate the audio into the bench and the front button panel offers visitors the option of two buttons playing five sequential messages, recorded and uploaded by Blackbox-av. The custom solar electronics are designed to contend with the full variety of Welsh weather.

Blackbox-av specialises in AV solutions and software for the museum and heritage sectors. The new design has been added to its existing range of outdoor interpretation products.

 



A solar-powered audio bench advises visitors about the local bird population
Wiretag lets viewers ‘jump in’ to sound track

Dataton has launched a Wiretag transponder for audioguides. The Wiretag provides a smart link between audio and video as part of the Pickup audioguide system. Visitors carrying the Pickup audioguide point and click at the Wiretag, located by displays or other video sources, and hear the show’s audio from the correct point. The transponder works up to 8m (26ft) away from the display with visuals presented using the company’s Watchout software.

“Wiretag allows the direct integration of a Watchout show with our Pickup audioguide system,” says Lars Sandlund, chief operating officer, Dataton.

“Simply point and click the Wiretag with a Pickup audio guide, and you jump straight into the sound track at the correct point in the show, regardless of how much time has elapsed.”

The Wiretag is primarily designed for use with Dataton’s new Dataton Watchpax media server, which runs the Watchout show, media control and image-manipulation software. The Wiretag transponder and Pickup audio-guide can also be incorporated in audiovisual systems that use Watchout.

 



Wiretag allows direct integration of a Watchout show with the Pickup audioguide system
 


Wiretag works up to 8m (26ft) away
 
Qin – The eternal emperor and his terracotta warriors

For the exhibition Qin – The eternal emperor and his terracotta warriors, which runs until November, the Bernisches Historisches Museum in Switzerland offers both an app and an audioguide.

The mobile application is for iPhones or Android devices and offers information about China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, who created the Chinese Empire more than 2,000 years ago, and his monumental tomb with its terracotta army. Approximately 220 original exhibits from China’s Shaanxi province, where the tomb was discovered in 1974, provide an understanding of the birth of China and bring the world of the First Emperor to life.

The app’s aim is for visitors to explore the history of China in an entertaining way and help them to experience the items on display better. Maria Khayutina, the exhibition curator, and Regula Wyss, head of education and outreach at the Bernisches Historisches Museum, selected 30 items, including the terracotta figures, which highlight and reflect the variety of the exhibits.

Museum media company Linon Medien GmbH, Berlin recorded 30 two minute-long commentaries to accompany each item in understandable and entertaining language and translated these into French, English and Italian. Linon director Julia Oldemeier says: “It’s hardly surprising that museum visitors are turning to their smartphone rather than to an audioguide. Unlike the audioguide that has to be returned after it’s been used in the museum, you can have the app before you come to the museum and keep it afterwards.”

 



The app enables users to learn more about Emperor Qin and the Chinese Empire before arriving at the museum
 


The app enables users to learn more about Emperor Qin and the Chinese Empire before arriving at the museum
 
Antenna’s SmartRack for iOS and Android devices

Antenna International has developed the technology to let museums and cultural attractions offer visitor experiences on both iOS and Android platforms.

The multi-platform hardware uses Antenna’s bespoke device casing and its new SmartRack™ – a modular charging system designed for iOS and Android solutions, as well as Antenna’s own X-plorer™ system, the new XP-Iris 2™. Each charging rack has a built-in computer allowing remote access to devices, facilitating content uploads and updates, player diagnostics and repair, and activity data analysis of every visitor device.

In partnership with Samsung, Antenna’s solution for Android devices was revealed at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where visitors were able to enjoy the cultural experience on the Samsung Galaxy 4 player.

Antenna also opened two iOS platform-based tours using its iTouch solution at MoMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

 



Attractions can offer visitor experiences on both iOS and Android using SmartRack
Stockport Air Raid Shelters adds audioguide

Stockport Air Raid shelters, UK has introduced an audioguide using staff voices, as part of its refurbishment. The Guide ID Podcatcher platform was used to create the audioguide tour, which is offered to visitors within the admission fee.

The tour is an hour-long highlight of the underground tunnels which civilians sheltered in during World War II. Using the audioguide, visitors receive a short introduction at each stop and then use their handsets to hear more in-depth information. For the content, staff made on-site recordings to reflect the local accent. Sound effects were used to create the effect of standing in a tunnel. The staff were trained and directed by project partner Open Production, which also added the sound effects.

Mitchell Brown of Guide ID says: “An issue was the fact that the tunnels are very damp and can interfere with hardware. The Podcatchers can be used inside and out, but the triggers can’t, so we have special outside water-tight IDentifers (triggers) which we used in the tunnels.

Guide ID supplied all the hardware and software. Brown adds: “The system’s so simple in use that installation is performed by the organisation and the audio upload is done via the internet. The ‘plug and play’ system can be run from any computer with internet.”

The Podcatcher platform also provides a tool for visitor research, evaluation and marketing to promote other Stockport visitor sites. Stockport councillor Iain Roberts, says: “Stockport Air Raid Shelters is one of the most poignant visitor experiences in the UK, offering an unparalleled insight into life on the home front.”

 



The new audioguide enables visitors to hear stories about the people who used the tunnels during World War II
 


Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the UK, designed to accommodate up to 6,500 people.
 
 


The new audioguide enables visitors to hear stories about the people who used the tunnels during World War II
 
 


Opened in 1939, the shelters were the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the UK, designed to accommodate up to 6,500 people.
 
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COMPANY PROFILES
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
iPlayCO

iPlayCo was established in 1999. [more...]
WhiteWater

WhiteWater was born in 1980 with one clear purpose, to create places where families unite and make j [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World
Last July 7th, Red Raion took part in the opening event of FICO Eataly World, the Italian theme park dedicated to food - the only one worldwide! Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
IAAPA Expo Europe Promo – International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
13 Oct 2022

VAC 2022

The ICC Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
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ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
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