5/14/2012 9:52 AM
The first key consideration in our “Ten Key Considerations for Exhibit Multimedia Success” is Hardware Planning. By hardware I mean not only the computer equipment, but also the kiosk housing.
When you plan any new exhibit, you spend a lot of time planning, so what do you need to consider when planning your multimedia hardware?
Well, first you must consider the space you have. Do you have limited wall space? Do you have limited floor space? What is the traffic flow of the area? Consideration of these things will help you choose between wall mounted, stand alone, or desktop hardware solutions. You also need to consider the actual square footage you have available for the touch screen kiosk. Remember that in order to be ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) you need ample space around your kiosk for wheel chair access. Specific information on acceptable floor space and interface (touch screen) heights can be found on the web.
Second you should consider your visitors. Are your visitors mostly adults or children? This can help determine placement height of the touch screen and possible additions like a step or seating. Do you have a pretty steady flow of visitors or do you have waves of crowds (like visiting school groups)? If you get waves of crowds, be mindful that children will congregate around a kiosk so make sure you have room for that. Also consider what is around the kiosk because an impatient crowd is more likely to sit on, lean against or fiddle with surrounding exhibitry. Are you in an area with a large elderly population? Remember, you want the kiosk to be easily usable, so make sure that you consider the size of the screen you use. The bigger the screen the larger the text and the easier to read.
Third (and most obvious) is the budget. There are many very affordable hardware solutions available from basic solutions to custom designed kiosk furniture. I recommend getting assistance from a professional in this area. You can search the web and find more possibilities than you ever imagined, but ultimately you need durable and reliable hardware. Utilize the experience of a company or person who has worked in a variety of venues and has an impressive client list. I can tell you that the equipment that we sell has a proven track record and I can offer many references to our prospective clients.
Finally, plan ahead. If the kiosk is part of a short term exhibit or if you do a number of events, you may want to consider a more versatile hardware solution. Touch screen kiosk furniture can be made with mobility in mind. There are hardware solutions that can be packed in a case and easily transported. You may consider separate hardware components instead of an all-in-one solution if the future plans are unclear. You may want to add hardware options to your computer like network cards or wireless networking for future “expansion”.
I focused this submission on the planning of the hardware. Key consideration # 2 will provide information specifically on hardware solutions. So if you feel like you are left wanting more, stay tuned for the next blog update!
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CD Meyer, Inc./point2explore
point2explore is product line of customizable touch screen kiosk programs including interactive games and informational programs. point2explore products are currently running in over 100 museums and have been used in corporate events across the country. Visit our web site at http://www.point2explore.com.
Copyright ©2012 CD Meyer, Inc.