The project location provided both creative opportunities and technical challenges. We had to design a flexible and robust audio delivery system that would allow visitors to engage with the creative content but not get distracted by their devices. Tour flow and virtual queuing had to be integrated and manageable for staff, as safety and other factors required careful management of the four pathway tours. We also had to design a system that would allow Zoo staff to readily control the tour devices (iPods) and the options available to the visitor.
Working on a project in a Zoo setting is fun but also unpredictable. We designed an audio delivery system that was easy to use for staff, simple to navigate for visitors, but with enough creative scope to produce a memorable tour experience. To achieve this, we undertook extensive consultation with our project partners, endeavouring to fully understand the theatrical goals of The Border Projects as well as the Zoo’s desire to engage and captivate audiences.
We used a server-based algorithm that allowed visitors to timestamp their requests and receive their responses to align everyone evenly across pathway tours. This virtual queuing solution kept tour groups synchronised and devices in temporal harmony. For the takeaway conservation message, we included a “save tour” functionality that gave each visitor a personal digital keepsake of their tour along with the opportunity to sign up for conservation news, find out how they can take action, and share their experience on social media.