Fictional or factual, the world of espionage has a way of captivating people. In part, the intrigue has to do with the mystique of carrying on the façade of being someone else. However, the hidden world of discovering hidden intelligence through advanced technology is equally mystifying.
It’s no wonder the International Spy Museum is “the most successful paid admission museum in D.C.,” said Chris Cooper, the Spy Museum’s Project Manager for Electrosonic. The Spy Museum captivates audience attention with real spy artifacts and stories, culled from actual CIA, FBI, and NSA operatives. Electrosonic illuminates these stories with tech like RFID, interactives, and a game-like experience.
On this episode of Fusion, we take a peek inside the Spy Museum, getting to know the technology that brings the interactive exhibits to life.
The focus of the newly renovated museum is to provide a neutral narrative showing how espionage was utilized. Of course, the mythos of the spy is heavily related to tech, so the imagination runs amuck. Using this as a backdrop, Electrosonic was diligent in making sure the technology was hidden, yet also played a key role in delivering the experience.
Some examples? There were areas on the fourth floor where there is a mailbox simulating a bomb using speakers. It is a shocking thing to hear the sound and feel the thud. There is an exhibit that uses proximity sensors hidden from the public view prompting the guard to know to talk to you or queue the bark. There is another exhibit that uses low light camera that, based on the RFID the patron receives at the beginning secretly takes the guest’s picture which it then displays further along the journey.
When creating an experience like the International Spy Museum, “you want word of mouth, with people leaving the experience telling their friends,” says Cooper. “The game aspect helps. It has the residual effect of locals wanting to come back because of the RFID experience. Using the combination of RFID and interactives gives a sense of purpose with the end result being something special.”
Interested in learning how Electrosonic can help your organization find creative uses for technology? Click here to learn more.
Breaking down this episode:
What about spies captures people’s imagination? (3:18)
How do you balance the budgetary and technical sides on delivering a project of this nature (7:05)
The role of narrative conversations in leveraging technology to tell the story. (9:05)
The community reception. (12:55)
How did Electrosonic blend spy tech into the story? (15:04)
How did this stack up to other projects? (18:24)
What were some of the goals when creating an experience? (20:00)
What did Electrosonic do to overcome technical hurdles? (22:37)
Favorite exhibits (25:43)
What relationships has Electrosonic built with the client working on this project? (31:30)