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on demand video + cms + interactive for museum

remolacha (473415) writes | more than 4 years ago


remolacha (473415) writes "I've been given the task of tech chief for a biggish art museum (1300 m2, or about 13,000 sq ft) in Spain. The museum's designers want 20 "terminals" that will offer on-demand video and interactive content. the terminals' content will change with the exhibits. many will have touchscreens, more interesting forms of input are planned as well (floor sensors, big buttons).

It's all on one floor, and the floors are raised, so I can run cabling and set up floor ethernet jacks. max cable run is 60m / 190ft. The museum may expand to 4x it's projected size once open by comandeering other floors in the building.

To give an idea of where the designers heads are, they were talking about a massive dvd changer in a closet somewhere.

I am thinking an intranet running a webserver with a CMS and flash media server, terminals running firefox in kiosk mode. I'd love to do everything on linux. does anyone have experience with a setup like this, better ideas, or advice?"

1 comment

From My Own Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29693517)

I'm nothing but an intern at a world-renowned planetarium, but I think I can offer a little bit of insight into some of the issues you may not be considering here, with a little anecdote:

Earlier in the year, I was charged with developing an interactive for a touchscreen kiosk we would be using. Due to copious amounts of red tape, issues with time/scale, and, admittedly, my own sense of being overwhelmed, this was eventually scaled back to essentially be us offering a scaled-down, localized, focused version of our project website on said kiosk, with some extra content geared toward the surrounding artifacts. Because I'm an Opera nut, I decided to have it running Opera in kiosk mode. (I still feel it has less issues with memory leaks, so it seems the more appropriate choice for an actual kiosk that has flash content available on it, but I digress)

The problem, we soon realized, is that, at the end of the day, there's nobody that goes around to properly power down this kiosk (a standalone unit), so it gets shut off the hard way: the staff pulls the plug on that section of the gallery, and it immediately loses power. This is a... err... less than optimal method. As a result, the thing is pretty quickly wearing down.

So, I guess my advice is: before you do anything, carefully consider and address the physical hardware issues before you even get into the issues of how you are going to deal with the content.

That being said, I think that an intranet + webserver + CMS would work pretty well for what you want to do, and I'd be interested to hear about how this works out! Museum tech is fun, if headache-inducing.

Oh, and posting anonymously for what should be reasonably obvious reasons.

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