Sydney Living Museums is the State Cultural Institution, caring for a group of 12 of the most important historic houses, gardens and museums in Australia’s New South Wales. One of these museums, Hyde Park Barracks, is an extraordinary living record of early colonial Australia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site and nowadays also a cutting-edge museum.
The Hyde Park Barracks renewal project started in 2019 to transform the museum to a world-leading heritage destination. They wanted to break away from traditional museum experiences by combining history with the latest technologies to encourage engagement with the museum exhibits. The museum’s idea was to let visitors enjoy their personal adventures through history while walking throughout the space on their own.
Early on, Sydney Living Museums chose Local Projects, who specialises in creative museum installments, to design the new museum experience. They identified Quuppa as a trusted technology partner, as their positioning system offered the required level of accuracy for the case.
The system deployment was taken care of by another Quuppa Partner, Gradient Advanced Technologies. An infrastructure of Quuppa Locators was installed into the museum’s ceiling to track mobile devices carried by the visitors as they move through the space so that relevant audio and video content could be triggered as visitors approach the displays. This enhances visitor experiences as they can decide freely where to go, to pick which displays to see and in what order, while still having access to the relevant interactive content immediately.
The reimagination of the Hyde Park Barracks museum has been remarkably successful and many visitors have praised the improvements to the experience on site. Whenever the visitors reach specific displays, they start hearing the related stories immediately through their headphones. The new technology provides a self-guided and immersive experience that feels like stepping back in time.
Sydney Living Museums is very happy with Quuppa technology and how it has performed at the Hyde Park Barracks. Next, they will investigate how to expand the use of the technology both at the Hyde Park Barracks, e.g. to optimise visitor flows and to manage visitor volumes, and at their other museum sites in New South Wales.