The Interpretation Shop – AV hardware

Came across this company recently. They rep themselves as an AV hardware company that specializes in elements for interpretative environments.

Saw their headphones in use at the Blues museum in St. Louis and was impressed with the beefy armored cable and heavy duty swivel point connection (see photos). They also sell interesting solutions like weather proof, solar powered interp audio stations for outdoor use (think zoos, natural trails). They are in England, but if the quality is high, might be worth dealing with an overseas supplier to obtain hardware elements that would require considerable R&D if we produced internally. And since their solar and hand crank options should be completely self-contain (i.e. self-powered) shouldn’t be issues with different electrical standards. Not the prettiest stuff, but I could see us finding ways to incorporate the hardware into our own structure / scenic envelops with good results. They also sell full service kiosk design & fab (content & hardware) through their Blackbox website.

Audio Post


Audio Bench


Visitor Powered Outdoor Audio Stations (the hand crank is a novel approach)


Armor Cable Headphones



You Draw it! – NYTimes interactives

NYTimes interactives has been using this technique recently, which I think is a nice, simple way to have visitors engage with data. The format is to present partial data on a graphic and then ask visitors to “draw” in the rest of the data before they see the real results. Uber simple but I think the technique promotes reflection and hypothesis by the visitor, and thus probably a greater likelihood that the results will make an impact i.e. they are proven right or surprised by the newly discovered reasons of why there were wrong. It’s also very touch-screen and dwell-time friendly.

A few examples:

Museum of Failure

I love this as a topic for a gallery or museum. Need to keep thinking of ways to approach classic topics w/ fresh perspective. This is (and could be made more so) a museum about innovation but the failure spin is a great hook.

Reminds me of our plan to theme an Evolution gallery at BMS as all about Extinction.


ENESS – technology & art installations

Building on Mr. Toth’s find, it’s worth checking out some of the other elements in the ENESS portfolio. Investigating other firm’s work is a great way to inspire out own thinking about what’s possible. Here’s a few that caught my eye from the ENESS portfolio:

Humble Telescope

We’d probably execute this a little differently, but this idea has a lot of potential.


Light Seesaw

Love how they’ve blended physical motion with a visual / digital¬†illustration of the motion. Poetic really. We should think of a way to us a similar technique in one of our moving elements.


LUMES Cabrini

This looks like an implementation of their OTS modules that Mr. Toth flagged. Not clear if it’s interactive, but certainly could be.


Lumes – Interactive LED Murals

Ok guys, we have to figure out how they did this. I’m thinking a thin wood veneer with LED panels similar to the ones we’ve been using lately (i.e. CSC Volcano), but I’m not sure how they achieved the interactive aspect. Any thoughts? This would be really cool to incorporate into the redesign of the large trade show booth or any number of things where we could sneak in an exciting and unexpected element. There’s a good opportunity to create AWESOME here.

Here is the dedicated page for this tech:

And here is the design firm’s page. Their other stuff is worth checking out as well.

Plastic Reflectic

No major revelations here, but I thought this was a cool implementation of motion sensor technology similar to our “magic mirror” Kinect setup. If you watch the video all the way through to the end, you get a glimpse of the mechanism they use to raise and lower the individual pieces of plastic. I think this is a great blend of interactive art that conveys a powerful message.