Austrlian War Memorial Intro Wall

In 2013, the Australian Government approved a $32.5 million redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial’s World War I gallery space. Art Processors was commissioned to develop the mobile technology component of this project.

The redevelopment included plans for a new “Visitor Audio Experience”, which Art Processors helped to develop in close collaboration with three digital technology companies as well as the Memorial curators and design team.

A key objective was to focus the attention of visitors on the exhibit itself rather than their audio tour devices. To achieve this, Art Processors collaborated with the project partners to create an audio delivery platform befitting the scope and magnitude of the museum’s mission.

Challenge

We had to provide solutions for several critical technical challenges to deliver an optimal immersive gallery audio experience for visitors. These challenges included ensuring visitor tour selections were transferred from the 20-screen, HD multi-touch display video wall to the gallery audio device with 100 per cent accuracy and minimal latency. We also needed to develop a spatial audio engine that would allow plenty of creative freedom for the curatorial and content team. Finally, the museum staff would have to manage a fleet of 200 devices daily, so it was vital to ensure device maintenance was effective and fuss-free.

Approach

Working with technical partners and the Museum curators, we set out to create an audio experience that was responsive, user-friendly and intuitive. With the media wall as the epicentre of the project, we used computer vision algorithms to ensure robust and responsive communications between the wall and devices. We built a spatial audio engine to enhance creative possibilities and make the visitor experience as frictionless as possible. We then authored a custom version of the operating system for the device.

Solution

In collaboration with project partners, Art Processors helped to conceptualise, design and build a sophisticated and reliable audio delivery platform that enabled museum curators to explore new creative approaches to exhibition design. The platform's seamless operation ensured gallery visitors spent minimal time fussing with devices and maximum time focused on the exhibition.

Impact
146 minutes average time visitors spent listening to the audio
83 per cent average number of visitors who listened to entire audio track
4 languages available for audio tour