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Virtual tour & audio pens at Buxton Museum

Posted on May 14th, by admin in Case Study, Evaluation, Museum, Tales and musings. No Comments

Virtual tour & audio pens at Buxton Museum

Visitors to Buxton Museum will discover that the William Boyd Dawkin’s Study has been given a 21st century technology makeover.

Until the installation of a number of technologies in May 2013 the William Boyd Dawkins study lacked focus. Visitors would enter the room, peer at the nice scene and leave with little understanding of its importance. Audio Trails have brought the room to life and given it an identity.

The centrepiece is the installation of 2 tablets upon the display cases, which prevent full access to the study. The tablets contain a virtual tour of the room that allows you to closely examine the key objects, even those on the other side of the room.

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The panoramic viewer above is the pre-visit web version (also available on the Virtual Visits Buxton Museum webpage). Have a play with it. To discover the answers it poses you will need to play with the museum tablets. The purpose of this web-based viewer? To provoke an interest and encourage a visit.

Point. Click. Listen. Infra red audio pens bring study objects alive

Point. Click. Listen. Infra red audio pens bring study objects alive

The room also contains two custom audio pen kiosks. When the audio pens are pointed towards ‘tagged’ objects a visitors can hear from the two men that the studies commemorates: William Boyd Dawkins and his protege Jackson. The audio is layered so visitors have the option to learn more about each object.

'Tagged' objects for audio pens in Buxton Museum

‘Tagged’ objects for audio pens in Buxton Museum

Outside the study directional speakers give the scientist’s portraits a voice, explaining their relationship, their achievements and the reasons visitors should enter and explore the study.


Following installation, evaluation was undertaken by TellTale to assess the effectiveness of the interpretation. The feedback has been favourable:

 A high proportion of respondents (78%) found the new interpretation in the study either interesting or informative, and the positive comments suggest that this media has improved the visitor experience.

The most significant benefit of the new media lies in increased its stopping power, i.e. it attracts visitors to enter the study and to stop in the corridor. This was not only identified by the observations, but also by the fact that 52% of responders said that they were returning visitors.

The observations also provided evidence that the new media located in the study increases holding power, in that it encouraged visitors to spend longer in this area.

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