New App – AWM Visitor Audio Experience

With the 100th year anniversary of World War 1 the Australian War Memorial in Canberra needed to provide a unique way for visitors to experience their displays. They wanted to allow people to both contemplate and experience spine chilling moments, to relate to individual stories, to create a personal connection between visitors and the exhibits. Their solution was to commission a system which allows visitors to experience customised audio, through a mobile device, triggered by indoor positioning technology.  Art processors, along with a consortium of other companies were contracted to implement the system.  I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work with Art Processors to implement the Android app portion of the system.

At the entrance to the gallery visitors select one of 5 tours from a wall length touch screen, and then with a Nexus 5 device and headphones, enter the world of World War 1. As they explore the galleries their movements trigger audio files which are combined, based on the user’s’ movements. This creates an experience which is personal and moving.

touch wall

touch table

I developed the Android application running on the nexus 5 devices.  This involved integrating with the enso CMS system for downloading data and talking to the AWILOC indoor location system to determine the device’s position.  The app then had to mix real time audio, based of the devices location and movements.  A simple audio engine which made use of location based ‘triggers’ was designed, developed and tested.  The app had to communicate with a wall and table of touch screens, to allow the user to select their tour.  I developed a method of communicating by flashing colours at the device’s camera which allowed communication without using wifi.  Finally the app also had to carefully manage device power and report analytics to the enso backend.

awm home screen

The slides of a presentation I gave at YOW Connected 2015 on the AWMVAE project, are available here: AWMVAE Presentation – 4 and a version with speaker notes is here:  AWMVAE Presentation – 4 widsccreen.key

Mental Media also have some great information about the project at:
http://www.mentalmedia.com.au/portfolio/australia-in-the-great-war-australian-war-memorial/

There is some information on the Australian War Memorial Visitor Audio Experience at:  http://www.snepo.com/articles/36-interactive-visitor-tour

Finally the war memorial has some information on the world war 1 galleries:
http://www.awm.gov.au/1914-1918/first-world-war-galleries/