Long gone are the days when visitors to a museum, gallery or exhibition are content to be passive consumers of whatever it is they’ve come to see. Visitors, of all ages, are looking for a far more interactive experience. We’re all a lot savvier in the digital age where words, pictures and images are interchangeable. Museums have always been about entertaining and educating visitors, but providing a rich, connected experience has never been more important. After all, museums, like all other venues, are competing for business.
Projectors may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about tools and technology to help engage visitors, but those who are already using modern projectors have been impressed with the results. An Italian museum – the Palazzo Suardi in Bergamo – has used projectors to help bring the past back to life in an interactive and educational way, to great effect. What’s interesting about the ‘Historical Museum of the Venetian Age – an interactive journey into the Sixteenth Century’ is that there are very few actual relics for visitors to see. The interactive experience is provided almost exclusively by using large screens and 22 projectors to surround visitors with images, within the historic space.
According to this case study on the Epson site, Epson projectors were chosen by the museum for their versatility, lightness and the after-sales service. In addition, because of the demands of the historic location, these projectors are hidden from view and managed remotely. Visitors are taken on a tour back through time, via images the projectors throw onto screens throughout the museum.
Using one or several projectors can certainly help to breathe life into all kinds of exhibitions. Easy to install and lightweight, a projector can be positioned just about anywhere and project images of stunning quality onto virtually any surface, including walls, floors and ceilings.
For any museum, gallery or other venues considering investing in a projector, there are a few key features to look out for. Colour saturation is crucial for delivering quality images that are crisp and vivid. The last thing you want when projecting an image are washed out colours. To get superior images and richer colours, look for a new standard called Colour Light Output, or CLO for short. There is an official site, www.colorlightoutput.com/uk/ explaining this standard in details and allowing you to search and compare projectors. Manufacturer like Epson also has a dedicated CLO page informing consumers like you and I why it is crucial to look for two measurements – white light output and colour light output.
Put simply, when looking for a projector, make sure that the colour light output, stated in lumens, is as high as white light output. If this information isn’t displayed prominently, then be sure to check with the manufacturer.
With modern projectors now more affordable than ever, this powerful, creative tool is well within the budgets of most museums and other venues. There is virtually no limit to the kinds of videos, images, logos or text that can be effectively projected in super-sharp detail with an LCD projector. As curators and visitor attraction managers everywhere already know, having the ‘wow’ factor is no longer just desirable, it’s essential.