Customer stories

Cathedral shares its history

One of the oldest cathedrals in Wales, and reputedly the smallest in Britain, St Asaph's was recently awarded major Heritage Lottery Funding to protect and promote its important Welsh heritage. By using a single Info-Point unit the cathedral is able to share its history with all its visitors, bringing the museum’s artefacts into the 21st century for younger visitors, and including those who would not normally be able to enjoy a museum visit.

As part of the project the Cathedral engaged specialist media developers Fuzzy Duck to create a smartphone app. This is being delivered by them as a turnkey solution pre-installed on an Info-Point unit. Alistair Monaghan, Head of Digital at Fuzzy Duck, says “We already had experience of using Info-Point as a platform to deliver creative media. The advantage for our clients is that we can reliably deliver a mix of smartphone apps and other digital content at any location, and don’t need to worry at all about connectivity. Religious buildings can serve visitors very effectively, but in a discreet way, without compromising their primary mission or distracting from their services.”

Quaker history gets digital tour

Edinburgh-based Partner, Abound Design, faced a challenge to produce a variety of interpretive materials including an audio tour app within a modest budget. The client was Jordans Quaker Meeting House in Buckinghamshire, which Abound Director Russel Eggleton describes as 'the Quaker Westminster Abbey' due to its association with famous names from the movement, such as Penn.
They saw Info-Point as the answer to this latter requirement, due to its low cost, universal accessibility, and the fact that they could easily add more tours at a later date and the client could author additional content themselves.
Due to the size and layout of the building they opted for a 'Master' unit on the ground floor plus an Access Point or 'slave' in a window on the upper floor to extend the coverage throughout the building and outside.
Russell developed a bespoke navigation structure with support from the Info-Point Technical Director Paul Palmer and produced user-friendly signage and guidance for visitors, so that even the less techno-savvy are encouraged to use the multi-media guide from the start.

Interpreting a Capability Brown landscape

Petworth House in West Sussex faced a series of interpretation challenges following three years of archaeological investigation in their Capability Brown park. Not least was how to interpret a landscape without spoiling it in the process. They also recognised that their house visitors often missed out on engaging with the park as part of their visit.
They chose to install several Info-Point units in key areas as 'Park Explorer' hot-spots, so that all visitors could have access to interactive park-specific digital interpretation. Two of the units are solar-powered, with their solar panels blended into the landscape by putting them inside tree cages.
ATS Heritage developed an interactive map of the park as a navigation method. Using a 3D model of the park and a 'rub-away' interactive image feature, as well as video of the digs and LIDAR images of the park, they created an interactive experience in which the visitor can truly explore rather than follow a tour. 'Capability' Brown was himself an innovator, and would probably be fascinated by the QR codes, NFC tags, and GPS that adds location-triggered content for those whose phones 'have the capability'.
NT Regional Archaeologist, Tom Dommett: “Using 3D fly-through videos, historic landscape reconstructions and location-triggered content via NFC tags, our Info-Point hot-spots provide a thoroughly modern and in-depth digital interpretation without detracting from this nationally important historic landscape.”

An accessibility nightmare? - Ryhope Steam Pumping Station

The challenge was a Grade II listed Victorian steam pumping station. Providing ambulatory accessibility to some key parts of this complex structure is just not practicable. The building is leased by the water company to a volunteer group, that work hard to maintain and improve it, and to open it part-time so that people can appreciate their industrial heritage.

As part of a major upgrade, the team wanted to improve the disabled visitor experience as much as possible. In addition to opening those parts of the site that they could, they installed an Info-Point ‘Intelligent Network’, plus six webcams, and some low-cost loan tablets.

Ryhope Trust Chairman, Keith Bell: "Using an Info-Point network and six live webcams, we are able to offer those with ambulatory disability a much more participative experience as they can follow their party around and share in the visit.”

“Our site is poorly served by phone signal and broadband, and only manned part-time, so Info-Point was the only solution that works for us. Users will normally use their own device, but if they don't have one, then we have some tablets available for loan when we are open ."

After a press launch and disabled access public open day, Keith wrote:

“Info-Point has been a universal success and has been robust enough to cope with a high number of users. Some had trouble logging on with smartphones, but the instruction cards allowed us to guide visitors and press to complete the login process if their browser was not opened automatically.”

“We have been open for disabled access days today and the tablets you provided have worked a treat, they have an impressive battery life and perform really well. I have been able to train our less that techno-savvy older volunteers how to use them.”

See a video of the opening day at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWC8dp6oKvM&feature=youtu.be

Extending church guides in a rural parish

St Mary’s Church, Frittenden, has recently implemented the second phase of an improvement project with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Inside the church the focus is on improving accessibility and amenities, including updating the existing church guides and making digital versions downloadable by visitors through the use of an Info-point unit. A smartphone tour and other material have been created entirely by the team of volunteers.

Project Manager, Jeremy Beech, is enthusiastic about the technology: “We have a very active team of volunteers with varying levels of digital expertise. The Info-Point gives us the independence to manage our own church and heritage information in future, with the comfort of the manufacturer’s free technical support. We are hoping to hold a ‘show and tell’ event in the future to help others in the Diocese to understand how to use this technology.”

Interpreting archaeology on a Scottish mountainside

The National Trust for Scotland were wrestling with the problem of how to provide interpretation of an archaeological site in a harsh outdoor environment on the lower slopes of Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. Then an Info-Point leaflet arrived.

Info-Point’s Wi-Fi ‘local web’ proved to be the answer. Manager and Senior Ranger Naturalist Helen Cole says, “We wanted to provide interpretation of an archaeological site where there is no visitor infrastructure other than a layby on the road. Using Info-Point with solar power enables us to provide something that’s modern and interesting, but also durable in the Scottish outdoor climate.”

Wesleyan birthplace chooses Info-Point

The original home of John Wesley's family of Methodist fame, St Andrew's, Epworth is a historical pilgrimage destination that is also an active church. It needed to minimise disruption from visitors and interpretive materials. An Info-Point positioned securely inside the church provides personal video tours, accessible both inside and outside, even when the church is closed or holding a service.

Interpretation Consultant Alan Randall says, “Info-Point was the ideal solution for us, and a very cost-effective way of delivering unintrusive multi-media throughout the church and grounds via smartphones or tablets.”

Long Gallery interpretation at Hardwick Hall

The National Trust's Hardwick Hall has installed Info-Point in its Long Gallery in order to provide a novel way to understand its collection of paintings and tapestries, while reducing the intrusiveness of interpretation. Presenting the portraits on visitors' smartphones so that they can be analysed as Elizabethan 'selfies' gives a new perspective that makes the imagery more accessible to younger visitors. Digital enhancement of the faded Gideon tapestries enables visitors to see them exactly as they would have looked to Bess of Hardwick in the 16th Century, and explains some of the challenges of conservation. Discreet NFC tags are also available as location triggers, enabling the techno-savvy to integrate their physical experience with their digital one. The Trust is monitoring and evaluating this project, along with outdoor Info-Points at Clumber Park, to see what the visitor reaction is to applying this 'new-renaissance' technology to heritage.

The Whithorn Story - interpretation inside and out

Whithorn has an important story to tell about its archaeology and its pivotal role as an early Christian site. The Whithorn Trust is important to the local economy and community, but faced the significant challenge of a rural facility, with limited internet connectivity and a limited pool of volunteers to provide a human-guided experience on demand. Led by the Trust, the community undertook an HLF grant-funded project to develop the museum and cafe, and to build a life-size replica of a local Iron Age roundhouse. As part of this, they wanted to provide modern digital interpretation that could follow the visitor across the site at any time.

The Trust commissioned professional producers Urbancroft Films to make a number of short videos using children to enact key scenes from the Whithorn Story. To deliver this and other content to visitors and school groups they installed an Info-Point ‘master unit’ inside a separate office building, where it is completely secure, and can feed a ‘slave unit’ at the cafe and a solar-powered one outdoors at the roundhouse.

The project has succeeded in its aims, and won the Scottish Heritage Angels Award 2017. Development Manager Julia Muir-Watt said “The Info-Point system enabled us to deliver what we wanted to do, at a difficult site for digital interpretation, and at reasonable cost. It provides a 24/7 digital facility via visitor’s phones that we can be proud of and can keep updated ourselves.”

Combe Mill is open 24/7 with Info-Point

Combe Mill in Oxfordshire uses two Info-Point units to enhance its interpretation and improve accessibility. One unit covers the two floors of the mill itself, while the other covers the separate tea room and the car park, and can be used even when the part-time and volunteer-run museum is closed. Phones can connect to either Info-Point and will then switch over automatically as the visitor moves about the site. The Mill, which was a workshop for Blenheim Palace, uses QR codes on some exhibits to take users direct to videos of the mill in steam.

Museum Chairman Tony Simmonds commented, “Visitors can see us in steam at any time and enjoy the working machinery, watch videos, and download historic material they might otherwise not see. It enhances our offering and encourages visitors to linger in the tea room.”

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