Tech I have Seen
These don’t fit into any particular theme or category. It’s just some stuff I thought was cool.
This is the front reception/information desk and the box office at the British Library. I really dig the projected clock on the wall behind them. When I saw it, I wondered if they projected messaging up there as required as well. But thye were pretty busy, so I didn’t ask. Cool, though! Simple projection!
Video booth at the Wellcome Collection. You don’t exactly stick your head inside, but it’s tilted forward to keep the sound mostly limited to the area right around it. It also provides a bit of glare protection and dimmer lighting so the video is clearer.
Biometrics exhibit at the Wellcome Collection. It checks your height, your heart rate (you stick your finger into one of the holes in the wall, a light flashes above it to show you which one), it scans your retina, and more to create a mandala of your biometric information. The touch screen wasn’t very sensitive, but I was impressed that it could collate so much information about me without human intervention.
Display case at the Wellcome collection. It’s got digital information on display along with physical objects. I thought that was pretty cool, displaying digital information as objects, bits and pieces.
Person-free help point. These terminals are all over the Library of Birmingham. It’s a touchscreen, but there’s also a keyboard. Librarians are nothing if not thorough. Iti provides basic information about the building, what’s going on, and where to start on your project.
Video terminal in the National Portrait Gallery. It’s placed thematically with the physical collection, but lets you see things it’s hard for the gallery to display well or safely. In this case, it’s a display of miniatures. While we tend to think of computers as open-ended things that can be a portal for the patron into a world of any and all information, there’s something to be said for adding restrictions. This terminal doesn’t do everything. It only shows one particular collection.
I also really like that the signage information is painted directly onto the wall. That’s something galleries always do and libraries almost never do (but probably should consider doing).
The street is actually called Navigation Street, but this bus stop totem in Birmingham really impressed me. It’s awfully classy that it tells you how many minutes away the buses are from you, but it seems like a perfect opportunity to give people some actual navigation information as well. London has non-digital totems that show you a map with all the major landmarks in the vicinity, and a nice yellow YOU ARE HERE blob on them. It seems like these could do a good service being both a bus notification system, a map, and possibly provide some basic directions to things people are likely looking for. Talk about way-finding!