Kiosks, digital signage help history go hi-tech

Long gone are the days of children dragging their feet through stuffy museums. Technology has invaded exhibits around the world, creating interactive experiences. And the Creation Museum near Cincinnati is no exception. It teaches visitors about biblical times through the use of hands-on learning opportunities on SeePoint kiosks, said Jason Goff, the museum's sales & promotions manager.

"We incorporated the kiosks as a part of our 'knee-high' exhibits at the Creation Museum," he said. "One thing we noticed after we opened (May 2007) was that we needed more interactivity with our younger guests."

The kiosks often capture the attention of kids, which often leads to longer visits, he said.

The Kiosks are a "fun way to not only occupy kids while they're at the museum; it's a fun way to learn while the adults are looking at the exhibits," he said. "When the kids are happy, it improves everyone's experience."

Giselle Birang, SeePoint's director of marketing, said the kiosk designers created them to blend in with the displays so as not to distract children from the exhibits. The computer processor and power are contained inside the system without exposed cables or bulky cabinetry.

"Placed along a re-created segment of Noah's Ark, the systems invite the children to learn and play with the exhibit — all at the touch of a screen," Birang said.

Birang expects other museums to follow the Creation Museum's lead.

"There is no doubt that museum visitors of tomorrow will be heavily connected to the technology of their day," she said. "Museums that fail to adapt new technology may have an uncertain future. New technology entices visitors to stay around the exhibit — spurring social interaction and leveraging their overall museum experience."

The 75,000-square-foot Creation Museum houses a high-tech planetarium, a special-effects theater and animatronic dinosaurs, according to Goff, who said said he expects to deploy more kiosks in the near future, including a touch-screen virtual tour of the Dino Den exhibit.

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