FAQ – Hardware
Will one platform meet all of my needs?
There are many cases where one platform meets all the interpretive needs of an institution. There are, however, scenarios where multiple solution systems are the best way to meet all your goals.
For example, if your site receives 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. Talk to one of our Client Service representatives! They can help you determine whether a single or 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 ‘talking 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?
Our Eco Line of products is ideal for outdoor, remote settings that require little-to-no maintenance and care. This line is environmentally friendly and works by solar or ‘people power’ (hand cranks). As such, no external power sources are needed to operate them, making them reliable and robust.
If your outdoor space in question has good network coverage, consider our smartphone application platforms! This approach is becoming increasingly popular, and allows you to manage and update your tour often.
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. If you have WiFi throughout your facility, then your visitors will be able to stream content to their phones on demand, without using the cellular data charges. If you have limited WiFi coverage, 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). If using the TourMedia Touch + system, the tour is automatically embedded on the device, therefore removing the need for wifi.
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- Line of products, as well as our Tour-Mate App platform for smartphones or the Touch+. 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 SC600 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-600 system 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.