An indoor and outdoor audio guide with automatic triggering for the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site
tonwelt’s expertise has helped to create a long list of innovative visitor tours over the years, but this one was certainly among the most unusual: an automatically-triggered indoor and outdoor visitor tour at the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland.
Made from interlocking basalt rock columns, the world-famous cliffs near the village of Bushmills stand directly on the Atlantic coastline, so the weather there can be rough to say the least! But as an outside tour of the rocks just wouldn’t work without getting down to the water’s edge, the challenge was to create an outdoor audio tour, with automatic triggering, that would allow around one million visitors a year to get as close to the waves as possible. Needless to say, tonwelt accepted the challenge!
The National Trust commissioned tonwelt as its service partner for this UNESCO site in 2017. As well as providing audio guides and support staff for the visitor centre, our task was to deliver a low-threshold educational experience that would highlight the history, geography and importance of the Giant’s Causeway, both inside the visitor centre and outside on a trail leading down to the Atlantic. The National Trust wanted a hands-off audio experience that would employ the same operating concept both indoors and outdoors. In addition, the number of video stations playing in the visitor centre meant that we also needed a system of equally accessible multi-lingual audio synchronization to reduce noise levels inside the open-plan hall.
Above all, both the equipment and the tour needed to be reliable and easy to use. This was vital not only for the support staff, who issue the devices and give instructions, but also for the many visitors who come to the site on a daily basis. With up to one million visitors per year, and peak numbers of 5,000 visitors per day, the Giant’s Causeway is one of the top tourist destinations in Ireland!
The approach tonwelt settled on was based upon our many years of experience in developing fast and reliable automatic and semi-automatic activations. Both inside the visitor centre and outdoors, we made constant use of automatic triggering. This approach also enabled us to provide synchronisation with the various video stations in the hall. The visitor concept for the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site called for a focused, audio-only approach that could ensure ease of use for on-site staff and intuitive handling for all visitor groups. For that reason, we selected the tonwelt supraGuide ECO as our audio device. Its barrier-free operation, long battery life and options for automatic triggering and video synchronization make it the perfect companion for exploring the unique world of the Giant’s Causeway!
National Trust – UNESCO World Heritage Site Giants Causeway Visitor Centre
Place & Date
Bushmills (UK), since 2017
Visitor Centre and Outdoor audio guide
UNESCO World Heritage Site