I recently visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the nearby Hall of Atomic Bomb Victims, on a whole it was an emotionally powerful experience but I’ll limit my writing to the technology used throughout to enhance the experience.
The Peace Memorial Museum and the Hall of Atomic Bomb Victims serve two different missions and thus have very different exhibits and feelings which understandably carry through in their approaches to technology. The Peace Memorial Museum uses technology now considered traditional in many museums (audio guides, push button AV, animatronics, creative lighting etc.) to tell stories of people and the city. In contrast The Hall of Atomic Bomb Victims is a venue to research and document the experiences of individual bombing victims. There are dozens of interactive research stations which visitors to search databases audio, video, text, journals, official documents, news reports in many different languages. The stations serve a scholarly research oriented function which is a refreshing change of pace from the high tech edutainment found in many contemporary museums. In fact these study stations have about zero entertainment value on their own but are incredibly useful to the serious researcher and the casual visitor.
When you enter the hall (free admittance) they hand you a brochure and ask you which language you prefer. Extra brochures are available on stands throughout the hall.
You may notice the small barcode on the brochure. Similar to the QR codes seen on ads and in magazines throughout Japan. Unfortunately I didn’t have a phone equipped to read QR codes so I couldn’t find out if there was a phone/internet tie in.
The brochure is inserted into one of the many study stations like this.
The brochure opens the content up in your chosen language.
There are stand up study stations in the lobbies and open areas:
The main lobby has a video wall showing abbreviated records that are also available on the study stations.
Sit down stations are set up for longer more in depth video viewing and reading.
These sit down stations have pages of Japanese text on the table which is translated on the screens above. Visitors can be turn the physical pages which advances the on screen translation or they can use a simple set of buttons on the table. Related audio and video or other documents can be accessed with the buttons.
(I apologize for the poor quality of these photos but I couldn’t find anything better online)
Unfortunately I was left wanting a way to save the research I had done. Possibly onto a webpage accessible through the barcode or other access code on my brochure. Or at the very least a way to search all this content away from the museum in an online format. That said it’s certainly a site worth visiting if your anywhere nearby.