FAQ – Hardware
Will one platform meet all of my needs?
One platform may meet most of your interpretive requirements however, if you have large numbers of both independent visitors and visitors arriving in groups, or if your venue encompasses both controlled access and uncontrolled access points, you may want to consider multiple tour delivery platforms. If you have large numbers of both free independent travelers and visitors who arrive in groups, both an individual tour guide system as well as a group guide system may make the most sense for you. Similarly, if your venue encompasses both an area with controlled access and an area that is open, without staffed entrances or exits, you may wish to consider one platform for the controlled access area and one or more platforms for the uncontrolled areas. If your institution lacks sufficient personnel to dispense and/or collect tour guide devices, then perhaps one or more platforms which do not require distribution would best meet your needs.Talk to one of our Client Service representatives. They can help you determine whether a single, or a multi-platform approach would best achieve your interpretive objectives.
How do I choose the right platform(s)?
Once you have determined what your objectives are, our Client Service staff can assist you with the development of a plan to achieve these objectives within your budgetary parameters.
What about visitors with special needs?
A number of our platforms have been designed to accommodate visitors with special needs. From our Listening Wand’s ‘taking keypad’, to our multi-wheeled Eco-Box (designed for individuals with little or no grasping strength), to multimedia platforms that can accommodate scrolling text and American Sign Language, we probably have one or more platforms which will help you address your accessibility concerns.
I want to add interpretation about outdoor locations which are in open, uncontrolled areas. What types of interpretive platforms should I consider?
We offer a number of platforms which you should consider. Our Eco-Box line of products is usually ideal for these situations. They work on ‘people power’. As such you will not need any ‘mains’ power to operate them.If you have good network coverage you may want to consider either our smartphone platform.
I am thinking of implementing a smartphone tour. Do I need to have WiFi throughout my facility? If so, is this something that you will install for me?
Unless your tour is entirely embedded in your app (no links to YouTube, etc.) and your visitors have pre-loaded the tour onto their smartphones prior to visiting your institution, you will need to have either cellular coverage (3G or 4G) or WiFi. The presence of WiFi enables your visitors to access your smartphone tour without using the cellular phone system thus avoiding any data usage charges. If you have WiFi throughout your facility, then your visitors will be able to stream content to their phones on demand. If you have limited WiFi coverage then your visitors will either have to download the entire tour in an area of WiFi coverage (which could be time consuming), or they will have to access your tour via the cellular networks (assuming you have good cell coverage).We do not design or install WiFi networks. In most locales, there are usually a number of companies that can undertake this for you.
What platforms do you recommend if I want to add interpretation indoors and outdoors?
All of our platforms will work in both indoor and outdoor locations. Platforms which require dispensing usually work best and are the easiest to manage operationally, in locations where access is controlled i.e. a specific entrance or entrances as well as exits which are staffed. For uncontrolled venues, we recommend our ‘fixed mounted’ Eco-Box and Solar Post line of products as well as our Tour-Mate App platform for smartphones. Tour-Mate App platforms will only work where there is access to a cellular signal and/or the internet.
What platform do you recommend for indoor use only?
If audio only is your preferred route, our hand held SC550, Listening Wand system has proven itself in hundreds of venues. If in addition to audio, you wish to display text, visuals and/or video clips, our new TourMedia system will allow you to provide multi-media content to your visitors in a compact yet rugged platform. If you are looking specifically for a group guide system, then we recommend the TM-200 and TM-600 systems for reliability and ruggedness. To make sure that the platform or platforms that you select will help you fulfill your objectives, talk to a Tour-Mate Client Service representative.