Would you like a gig implementing an interactive multimedia experience that connects smartphones to servers and screens spread across a complex environment? Sounds good? Now ask if you would still like the job for a customer that's 16,000km distant from Australia!
That's the task taken on by digital production firm Transpire, which was tasked by the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) to develop a fully integrated, immersive digital for the new Sir John Monash Centre located in Villers-Bretonneux in France.
The goal was to create an experience for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Australia's role on the Western Front during World War I. Transpire also had a tight deadline, with the two-year engagement required to wrap before Anzac Day 2018.
Transpire's vision was an interactive installation that can be controlled by visitors using their smartphones. Content would be delivered via visitors' smartphones, customised and controllable depending on where they are within the centre.
To accomplish this, Transpire deployed 150 Bluetooth beacons to deliver audio and video through the customer iOS and Android apps, and determine their location as they move through the centre, which prompts the server to establish a connection to the app.
Visitors are able to control monitors stationed around the centre to start or replay on-demand, or even join others mid-session.
Transpire also developed the accompanying user apps, which proactively cache content, cue up relevant media and link the smartphones to screens throughout the centre.
The centre itself brought about its own challenges, as the complex environment includes 450 screens of various sizes and configurations. After finding that commercially available solutions were limited, Transpire created its own integrated multimedia solution to coordinate with all of the technology within the centre. The company also developed a layered positioning algorithm to help deal with the challenges of the physical environment as visitors move around, which continually refreshes the app with available content.
To cope with the significant distance between Transpire's Melbourne office and the Sir John Monash Centre in France, Transpire carried out its tests in a custom-built environment based on the centre before the deployment.
"Very early on Transpire understood the complexity of the full BYOD multimedia we were trying to build and approached it with a problem-solving attitude," said Ian Fletcher, DVA former executive director of overseas projects. "The outcome is a world-class BYOD technology solution that will ensure visitors are immersed in these important stories."
Transpire is a finalist in the 'Customer Experience' category in the 2019 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub. The awards take place during the CRN Pipeline conference. You can get more information and purchase tickets here.