We were already planning an exhibit around this time last year when the pandemic hit. During the early going while everyone was learning how to deal with new safety & disinfection protocols, we knew that we would need to make some adjustments to the show’s design, which is geared toward younger kids/families, so we tend to have a lot of hands-on activities. We always want to include informative and educational interactives, and in the past all of our electronic kiosks have been actuated with pushbuttons or touchscreens. So, the challenge was finding a way that would allow us to include video and audio presentations while minimizing the “hands-on” factor.
I had run across Videotel products on the web before, but we had not had an opportunity to try any of their products before the development of this current exhibit – we had closed our museum in March and were working from home for several months, so during that time I reached out to Lisa and her team there to find out more about the technology and it turned out that their wave-to-play devices were a perfect solution to meet the challenges we had encountered.
We also had an idea for an activity that would give visitors the opportunity to choose from a menu of multiple sounds at a couple of audio stations, and I got great help and advice from Travis on how to make the IPM+ device work with a set of heavy-duty footswitches that we sourced from a manufacturer that specializes in industrial-grade foot pedals (Linemaster).
I’m happy to report that everything turned out well, and the Videotel products helped us to achieve our goal of minimizing the hand-touching of those interactives. The VP71XD media players work great, and they are easy to set up with the content that we chose to include – whenever I had technical questions about making everything work, Travis was always quick to help me solve any issues that came up.
The exhibit is called Poop Paws: Investigating Clues That Animals Leave Behind, and it’s all about showing visitors how to interpret animal tracks, scat, and other evidence they might find in nature, even their own backyards, to try to figure out their identities.
The photos of the interactives that show the Videotel products specifically – there is a 4-sided A/V platform in the center of the room that has different content stations on each face, and we have 2 wave-to-play devices on some Samsung monitors that we formerly used as touchscreens.
Graphics Specialist/Project Coordinator
University of Nebraska State Museum