Solar-powered Wi-Fi signs

Photo of outdoor solar-powered sign with roof

£4K - £6K + installation

Our sign partners can provide a complete turn-key installation comprising a conventional sign and graphics that incorporate a solar-powered Info-Point unit. This gives you a robust and weather-proof digital interpretation facility that can be placed at any outdoor location, without needing any external infrastructure. Maps, trails, and leaflets are then easily downloadable by visitors. This facility is ideal for gateways to National Parks, AONBs or any outdoor or wildlife facility, as well as for urban environments.

See: https://www.shelleysigns.co.uk/digital-interpretation

Interpreting a Capability Brown landscape

Petworth House in West Sussex faced a series of interpretation challenges following three years of archaeological investigation in their Capability Brown park. Not least was how to interpret a landscape without spoiling it in the process. They also recognised that their house visitors often missed out on engaging with the park as part of their visit.
They chose to install several Info-Point units in key areas as 'Park Explorer' hot-spots, so that all visitors could have access to interactive park-specific digital interpretation. Two of the units are solar-powered, with their solar panels blended into the landscape by putting them inside tree cages.
ATS Heritage developed an interactive map of the park as a navigation method. Using a 3D model of the park and a 'rub-away' interactive image feature, as well as video of the digs and LIDAR images of the park, they created an interactive experience in which the visitor can truly explore rather than follow a tour. 'Capability' Brown was himself an innovator, and would probably be fascinated by the QR codes, NFC tags, and GPS that adds location-triggered content for those whose phones 'have the capability'.
NT Regional Archaeologist, Tom Dommett: “Using 3D fly-through videos, historic landscape reconstructions and location-triggered content via NFC tags, our Info-Point hot-spots provide a thoroughly modern and in-depth digital interpretation without detracting from this nationally important historic landscape.”

Pier entertainment goes digital at Swanage

Built in 1897 Swanage Pier is a historic ‘promenading’ pier that is open to the public and attracts a wide range of tourists, especially photographers. Small scale ferry services run to Poole Quay and historic paddle steamers visit for events. The pier also hosts a diving school, the oldest in the UK.

Following a successful Heritage Lottery Funding bid the Pier underwent infrastructure improvements, including a cafe, shop, and new digital interpretation available exclusively to visitors on the Pier via an Info-Point network.

Nick Morris of graphic designers Wallis Agency created a number of interpretation stories and developed the Info-Point content. “I was particularly taken by the ability to develop interactives such as a ‘scratch-off’ image that juxtaposes historic and current photographs of the Pier.” he said, “The built-in Content Management System and private ‘Staff’ area has meant that I can hand this over to the Trust and their volunteers to maintain. If enhancements are desired in the future it will be no problem as the whole system is so flexible.”

Ben Adeney, the CEO and General Manager at Swanage Pier Trust added, “As we were introducing a modest charge for visiting, we felt that we had to have a more professional visitor experience. However, we faced very severe local challenges, especially for on-site interpretation, due to the extreme weather and marine environment, plus the fact that we have public access, and the way that the Pier interferes with Wi-Fi signals. The Info-Point team came down and did extensive site testing, as well as supervising the installation and commissioning, so that all the challenges were overcome with confidence. The system has been an instant hit with our team of volunteers who are so vital to our success.”

Canal and River Trust offer digital interpretation on towpath

Stoke Bruerne is a Canal and River Trust museum site in rural Northamptonshire. In order to open up some of its film and oral history archive to the public, and explain how locks work, they installed an Info-Point unit at the entrance to Blisworth tunnel, using an old stable to house a solar-powered unit.

A/V producer Peter Ralley commented, "The Canal and River Trust wanted to make full use of my filmed oral histories and archival footage, but the unattended tow-path environment is not suitable for digital equipment such as kiosks, and it has no power or internet access, so Info-Point was the only delivery mechanism that would work. I created animated explanations of how the locks and side-ponds worked and how they built Blisworth Tunnel and installed everything on a solar-powered Info-Point so that it can be used 24/7 from the public tow-path. As we have worked with Info-Point before we knew that it would do the job. Putting it all together was very easy and it works like a dream."

Landscape Partnership Opens Up Industrial Heritage

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark is a stunning landscape of open heather moors and peatlands, attractive dales and hay meadows, with intriguing imprints of its mining and industrial past.

As part of its HLF funded Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme, the AONB Partnership staff team had identified two important industrial heritage sites in the Allen Valleys that were on the Heritage At Risk register and ideal for 24/7 digital heritage interpretation - a difficult task given the outdoor nature of both visitor areas.

As part of a major heritage development, the Partnership engaged specialist heritage designers Differentia to produce detailed artist’s impressions and specialist outdoor signs. Both teams worked with info-Point to develop the mobile digital offering that was uploaded and is updated on an ongoing basis by the Landscape Partnership staff and volunteers.

Scheme Manager, Andy Lees, comments:

"I saw Info-Point some time ago and realised that it answered some of our specific needs that could not be met otherwise. The on-site demonstration and test proved that it could do the job, and the track-record of the product reassured me that it was robust enough for our environment."

Conservation Assistant, Steven Lipscombe, who worked hands-on with the content said:

"With the flexible help of the Info-Point technical support we were able to do exactly what we wanted with the system. These units are now in place and operating well. There has been an excellent reception to them and the community are keen to make more use of them and explore their capabilities."

Interpreting archaeology on a Scottish mountainside

The National Trust for Scotland were wrestling with the problem of how to provide interpretation of an archaeological site in a harsh outdoor environment on the lower slopes of Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. Then an Info-Point leaflet arrived.

Info-Point’s Wi-Fi ‘local web’ proved to be the answer. Manager and Senior Ranger Naturalist Helen Cole says, “We wanted to provide interpretation of an archaeological site where there is no visitor infrastructure other than a layby on the road. Using Info-Point with solar power enables us to provide something that’s modern and interesting, but also durable in the Scottish outdoor climate.”

The Whithorn Story - interpretation inside and out

Whithorn has an important story to tell about its archaeology and its pivotal role as an early Christian site. The Whithorn Trust is important to the local economy and community, but faced the significant challenge of a rural facility, with limited internet connectivity and a limited pool of volunteers to provide a human-guided experience on demand. Led by the Trust, the community undertook an HLF grant-funded project to develop the museum and cafe, and to build a life-size replica of a local Iron Age roundhouse. As part of this, they wanted to provide modern digital interpretation that could follow the visitor across the site at any time.

The Trust commissioned professional producers Urbancroft Films to make a number of short videos using children to enact key scenes from the Whithorn Story. To deliver this and other content to visitors and school groups they installed an Info-Point ‘master unit’ inside a separate office building, where it is completely secure, and can feed a ‘slave unit’ at the cafe and a solar-powered one outdoors at the roundhouse.

The project has succeeded in its aims, and won the Scottish Heritage Angels Award 2017. Development Manager Julia Muir-Watt said “The Info-Point system enabled us to deliver what we wanted to do, at a difficult site for digital interpretation, and at reasonable cost. It provides a 24/7 digital facility via visitor’s phones that we can be proud of and can keep updated ourselves.”

Great Orme outdoor coastal trail using hot spots

Conwy Council’s Green Links Trail needed to give visitors information outdoors, where there was no IT infrastructure and poor phone reception, but a cafe and an old toll booth with power available. Through their interpreters, Monty Funk, who authored the creative content, they developed audio trails and downloadable leaflets and use Info-Point to deliver them.

Project Officer Dan Romberg says, "At three Info-Point 'hot spots' we are able provide an audio trail offering an insight into the environmental, historical and recreational aspects of the on the coastal strip between Llandudno and Prestatyn, and the Marine Drive on the Great Orme."

Solar-powered at NT Clumber Park

The National Trust's Clumber Park is a major public park and wanted to provide interpretation of how it was changing and managing several outdoor environments. After seeing Info-Point at the Museum and Heritage show, and borrowing a loan unit to trial, they chose to use independent solar-powered Info-Point units at each of the three locations. Added to the interpretation content there is a flexible nature webcam that can be linked to any of the units to provide live images of interesting natural history that is otherwise not available.

Senior Warden Dan Booth comments: “ The fact that our staff can add and update the content themselves is attractive as these are evolving areas. We would like to use Info-Point in more areas in the future.”