“The Museum has been able to use the impressive visuals & exciting new technology as a great marketing tool”

What the client wanted

Colchester Castle is a 1,000-year-old building with roots that stretch back all the way to the Romans. Motion Mapping was tasked with working with their latest acquisition, the replica of a 2,000-year-old ballista; an enormous crossbow whose length and width stretch to well over 6 feet in all directions.

The Castle Museum had a vision for the ballista to be more than just a showpiece, hoping that visitors might be able to get hands-on with history (digitally, of course). And so, we were faced with a unique challenge and a deceptively simple sounding brief: to bring history alive.

Our concept

As a project conceived during COVID-19, and in the challenging environment of an ancient castle, we were determined to find solutions to bring cutting-edge technology that would remain relevant in a post-pandemic environment to this tech-hostile atmosphere.

We decided to introduce two types of technology never-before-seen in the museum: RFID activation and touchless swiping, with the aim of giving visitors the most immersive experience possible. Projecting animated graphics onto a custom-built hub for locking, loading and firing a digital arrow across the Castle was only the beginning of our vision for a really multi-faceted ‘wow’ experience.

The result

From placing down an interactive token to swiping back a hand and watching as a whole two-storey internal wall becomes the target, we’ve truly taken over the whole of Colchester Castle with this AV!

The proof of the success for any family based interactive are the faces of those using it, and the joy and wonder the Ballista Interactive has brought to the Castle is clear for all to see.

We are delighted that overall, the ballista doesn’t just fulfil our client’s needs, but is an ongoing source of joy for visitors to Colchester Castle. It has become a firm favourite, bringing people back to the museum so they can use it time and time again.

What the client says

The Museum wanted an interactive that would not only attract more visitors to the venue, but also act as both reward and motivation by linking the ballista to their new charity arm and, after seeing what we’ve done, it’s no wonder that donations have significantly increased. Afterall, how do you best reward someone who has donated money after paying an admission fee…offer them the opportunity to fire a giant arrow and digitally demolish a Castle wall!

The Castle Museum have been able to use the impressive visuals and exciting new technology as a great marketing tool, generating responses across all forms of media and driving interest to visit the venue after the tough months of COVID.

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