The museums and science centres we visit these days are interactive and packed with multimedia. In addition to the exhibits, they offer visitors engaging movies, games, video mapping and much more. It is an immense operational challenge to manage such an interactive exposition. The complex control systems that are used in such facilities combine software and specialized equipment. In this article, I would like to suggest what to look for when choosing such devices for your facility.
Managing interactive exhibitions is a complex task
Today, the exhibition – understood in the traditional sense of the word as a mere display of exhibits – is no longer there. The exhibition of our times should engage and surprise the addressee, it should be interesting and interactive. Therefore, in addition to the exhibits as such, films, emerging mini-games, maps, and many other interactive and non-interactive pieces of entertainment are presented. Since the content is “alive”, it should be controlled. In practice, this may even be hundreds of posts, screens or info kiosks to handle at the same time. Together with light and sound. How to accurately and effectively manage such an exhibition?
Of course, in such cases, reliable solutions are worth their weight in gold. Implementing a system that will serve all the elements of the exhibition (including multimedia), makes this process smooth and uninterrupted. The managing of an interactive exhibition thus becomes a complex action – decisions are made both for multimedia applications and the entire AV system. An important component of a good management system is undoubtedly reliable equipment – the kind that exactly meets the needs of a particular exposition.
Good equipment for exposition control – what are the key characteristics?
1. Pitch-perfect fitting
The starting point in the selection of equipment should always be specific to a particular exposition. Why? Only properly selected computers to control the AV installation ensure the smooth operation of the entire set up. In addition, it avoids unnecessary costs – tailor-made equipment will allow for fuller optimization.
To control stations that play 4K video and support virtual reality technology, different hardware parameters will be needed than those for stations that display Full HD video, but without VR (you will see differences in the parameters on the example of the Mango and Papaya player).
The correct compliance of the technical characteristics of the equipment with the needs of the exhibition is a guarantee that in daily operations none of the posts will “explode”, which, unfortunately, happens with computers with insufficient processing power. Moreover, a clever set-up saves money, too – there are no costs of additional components. No add-ons are needed for the exposition to work efficiently and smoothly.
Managing interactive stations is quite a challenge. The performance of hardware is especially important here – it has to cope with the demands of often very complex expositions (which is sometimes difficult to achieve with standard computer units).
For demanding multimedia stations that support additional 3D applications or the previously mentioned Virtual Reality, it is necessary to have a fast SSD drive and a good GPU. For example, in our Papaya Player we use a graphic card: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB, which is ideal for multimedia movies in 4K and VR.
3. Miniaturisation and minimization
Large working stations that do not match the scenography of the exhibition, are in the past. Modern devices designed to control the exposition are miniature computers that are easy to hide and mask into the set design. Don’t be fooled by arguments of “naysayers” – we guarantee that strong equipment for managing of the entire AV installation can be accommodated in the small casing of, for example, 220 x 220 x 100 mm. It is possible.
In addition, when choosing equipment, try and check whether the computer is able to handle several exhibition posts at once. This way, you minimize the amount of equipment needed to control the entire exhibition.
I hope that you will find the above tips helpful when you decide on choosing the equipment to manage your own exhibition. If you need further assistance in this area, we would be happy to help (contact us).