This was our second project with Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, having previously delivered the Abbeydale Explorer app. Both are powered by our native app software Places and Trails.
Take a tantalising tour
The Kelham Island Museum app has nine zones to explore. When users open the app they are presented with a tour selector screen, allowing different audiences to chose a tour relevant to them. Someone selecting the Hidden Histories tour (written by us) will be delivered different content for each zone compared to those on the Young People’s Tour (produced in collaboration between the museum and a local youth group). The client can add, remove and update tours (along with all the other content) via the Content Management System.
Brilliant Bluetooth Beacons
Our standard method of triggering content is to use GPS. But a clean line of sight to satellites required to make this work is not suitable for indoor applications. For this project we used small battery powered Bluetooth Beacons located in each zone. The batteries last 2-3 years and as they are on a small site can be easily monitored (although they are located out of reach of visitors! The app’s map pin changes colour when you enter a zone in the museum.
Further beacons are hidden in exhibits around the museum and these form the basis of the treasure hunt. Visual clues are provided in the app and when app users get close enough they unlock the item and reveal hidden bonus content.
The app contains fun souvenir selfie filters to create unique photo memories of the visit, and a countdown timer alerts visitors on site when the River Don Engine (the highlight of the museum’s collection) is about to start. Once visitors leave the museum the timer is disabled.
We also produced a number of short films for inclusion on the app. Wondered how scissors used to be made…?
Having worked with Dan in the past, I knew that he would support us through the process of developing the App. He has been able to answer our questions quickly and was very amendable to changes that we wanted to make following user consultation. I would recommend Dan and the Audio Trails team to anyone looking to create a good value, flexible app.
Rebecca Walton, Learning Programmes Coordinator, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust