Target markets

The intended markets are tourist organisations, heritage sites/organisations, educational material providers, Libraries and Museums. Other potential markets are individually owned properties, the Royal Residences, and other historic attractions such as the Mary Rose, Cutty Sark, HMS Victory and Museums. Tourist centres are another market area we can investigate. Fact sheets and elements such as educational games, quizzes, puzzles, electronic postcards, interactive story writing, characters and similar generic items will all help to form and enhance the brand experience of The Talking Walls®.

The interest to date has been from The National Trust – Dunster Castle management team (in 2004, they expressed an interest in trialling this at the Castle within the Tourist Centre); Historic Houses Association (in 2004, we discussed this and it was felt that the technology was too advanced at that time), the British Museum and Beaulieu (as mentioned above), and other smaller private houses such as Shedfield House, which is planning a sculpture garden, art gallery and resident artists. The feedback regarding the concept of The Talking Walls has indicated strong interest and a desire to see a prototype. There has also been interest shown by one of the French Tourist departments, while on a visit to Futurallia in 2001 and at a French seminar held by the North Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Business Link.

The plan is to license The Talking Walls®  application to the different heritage trusts for use within their visitor centres. The complementary website will also allow the prospective visitor to buy the disk online so they can explore even before they get there. It is proposed that The Talking Walls (UK) Ltd would receive a royalty for each use of a hand-held guide that a visitor pays to use, and a royalty for each DVD purchased, or chargeable use of the software on the website.

As well as developing the licensing to heritage organisations, we plan to investigate the potential licensing for purely educational use within schools and libraries. The Talking Walls® application covers several areas of the curriculum and it is felt that The Talking Walls® would be a rich resource for teachers and schoolchildren. In the library it would also be valuable as a resource of knowledge and educational entertainment for each generation.

Competitive Edge or Unique Selling Point(s)

Since the inception of this application in 1996, there has been a slow development in similar applications for the heritage and museum industry. During the last 3 years, with the GPS, RFID and wireless technologies now readily available, there has been a sharp incline and interest in developing new media to attract more visitors. This has been raised further by the Government’s intention “to encourage museums, galleries and archives to adopt a strategic approach to social inclusion” and to “open up our institutions to the wider community, to promote lifelong learning and social cohesion”.

The National Curriculum for schools states for the subject of History that “Pupils should be taught … how to find out about the past from a range of sources of information, for example, stories, eye-witness accounts, pictures and photographs, artefacts, historic buildings and visits to museums, galleries and sites, the use of ICT-based sources” (National Curriculum for England ).  Most heritage sites perform a significant role in accommodating parties of school children.  Computer based visualisation, incorporating interactive questions, would add to the facilities available.
Recent research has shown that there are one or two organisations that have put a similar product into operation. The main one of note is the Natural History Museum. This is due to Ailsa Barry who is Head of the Interactive Media department at the museum and has been involved with Wireless technology for several years. (Please see this link for further information:

Museums and the Web
This site lists the organisations and museums that have recently held a conference (March 22-25 2006) in Albuquerque, New Mexico regarding ‘Museums and the Web’. This site has been particularly useful in gauging the uptake of similar technology.

Tate Modern multimedia tour
The Tate Modern has also recently put in PDA usage with RFID tags for their exhibits.

Other links proving the importance of developing this application are:

Maximising the impact of a nation's investment


Museum intellectual property and its market


Information Systems Integrity Group


A meeting in February 2006 with Paul Clifford of the British Museum’s Learning and Development department resulted in a very positive interest in The Talking Walls®, leading to comments of ‘the best application he has seen in the past 2.5 years research into PDA applications, including the Tate Modern’s PDA application.

The most important differences between the applications currently being tested and marketed above and The Talking Walls® is it’s multimedia rich content and the fact that it is not reliant on RFID tags. This allows users to explore and learn wherever they are on site. The most unique aspect is the KubeMatrix™ which allows navigation of the building as well as the content. People using the application are able to learn about their culture both from the characters and their stories of their everyday life and the visual animations / video clips. They will be able to see how the different eras impacted on day to day life by jumping from a room in one era to the same room in another era. Children will be able to grasp their historical background much more easily and have an element of fun in doing so. Adults, from all backgrounds, will be able to see elements of history at their own pace and in a format of their own choosing. The other products available have some media content pushed at the user when in front of an object and not much if any form of navigation of the building. This is often a separate application.

There are further areas that The Talking Walls® application can be developed into, such as Digital Libraries, a major area that the following link may help to understand: Foundation for Automatic Digital Preservation therefore showing the extensibility of this template application.