EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum — the first major emigration museum in the world — announced a new digital experience at SXSW as part of Enterprise Ireland’s Irish Advantage pavilion at the global tech conference.
The museum has partnered with Cork-based Digisoft.tv to build a smartphone app for the provision of multi-language audio guides. With the app, the audio commentary is triggered by in-venue Bluetooth beacons, bringing a virtual tour guide (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German) to museum visitors. The app also enables experiences for visitors with extra vision or hearing requirements. The audio guide will be available on 200 pre-installed smart devices for students and tour groups in the museum itself.
The Digisoft development team built the audio guide in close collaboration with museum staff. Digisoft’s audio content management system, Waymigo, is used to manage the app content with the Bluetooth beacons used to trigger guides in each gallery. The Waymigo system was first deployed in 2017 to power the audio in EPIC’s VR tour. Digisoft will release support for Amazon’s Digital assistant, Alexa in Q2 2018.
“With this excellent app, we now have the ability to tailor the audio guide to the nationality or interests of visitors,” said Heather Dowling, EPIC Design Manager. “For example, the version that an American visitor will use can highlight the many stories of all the Americans of Irish descent, or we can create a version that focuses on the history of influential females for visitors coming to celebrate International Women’s Day.’’
Dowling added that EPIC will continue to add languages as audience needs evolve. There are now plans to add Irish Signing Language as well as closed captioning in the near future.
Speaking at the Enterprise Ireland Irish Advantage Pavilion at SXSW, Darragh O’Brien VP of Media Solutions stated “Digisoft and EPIC have collaborated to deploy an experience platform that engages visitors, empowers the EPIC content team and streamlines daily operations at the museum.”
By combining 360-degree photography and immersive audio with smart apps and virtual reality headsets, Digisoft has built a truly engaging experience platform which aims to contribute significantly to promoting Irish museums and tourist attractions to international tour operators and travel agents at events and conferences. The Digisoft portfolio includes Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality solutions for attraction and venue operators globally.