We brought history to life with a cutting edge interactive installation in this 1,000-year-old fortification.

BRIEF

Colchester Castle had just acquired a replica of a 2,000-year-old Ballista; an enormous crossbow well over six feet long and wide.

The curators of the museum had a vision that the Ballista would be more than just a showpiece. They wanted visitors to be able to get hands-on with history (digitally, of course). And so we were given a unique challenge and a deceptively simple sounding brief: to bring history to life.

CONCEPT

We decided the best way to achieve the brief was to introduce two types of technology never before seen in the museum: RFID activation and touchless swiping. This would give visitors the most immersive experience possible, allowing them to get hands on with the installation. Projecting animated graphics onto a custom-built hub for locking, loading and firing a digital bolt across the castle was only the beginning of our vision for a real ‘wow’ experience.

WOW MOMENT

From placing an interactive token to swiping back a hand and watching as a whole two-storey internal wall becomes the target, we transported people back a millennium with this projection!

One of the ways we judge how successful we’ve been with a family-based interactive is by watching the faces of the people as they use it, and the joy and wonder the Ballista Interactive has brought to the castle’s visitors is easy to see.

We’re delighted that the Ballista has become a firm favourite at Colchester Castle, bringing people back to the museum so they can use it time and time again. Donations to the castle significantly increased, and the installation was a great marketing tool, creating a stir across all forms of media.

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

COLCHESTER + IPSWICH MUSEUMS
An interactive surface with a projection of a ballista, next to a large model of a ballista
An interactive surface with a projection of a ballista, a Roman night is holding a scroll with the words 'Good effort'
An interactive surface with a projection of a ballista, next to a large model of a ballista
Interactive Balista Installation at Colchester Castle, a two storey inside wall with four giant targets projected on it
Interactive Balista Installation at Colchester Castle, a two storey inside wall with four giant targets projected on it
Interactive Balista Installation at Colchester Castle, saying push the target to fire
An interactive surface with a projection of a ballista, next to a large model of a ballista
A touch sensitive wooden looking surface with medieval imagery and the words 'Fire the Ballista'

GIVE US A SHOUT!