Static text on a display falls short in today’s day and age of shortened attention spans and video-saturated entertainment. Unsurprisingly, when surveyed, more than half of Americans (52%) list active, hands-on training as their best learning method (Globe News Wire). Education in general needs to grow to accommodate those who learn more effectively with tactile interactions, and an audio-visual experience can make that happen.
If you’re putting on a display of any kind, whether it’s an art exhibit, a trade show booth, or an educational display, I highly recommend you add interactive video to enhance your showcase and increase audience engagement. Using interactive video in your exhibit can really spark viewers’ curiosity and better convey your message.
Video installations are also a gateway to emerging immersive media such as virtual reality and augmented reality. Interactive videos are not quite on par with virtual reality or augmented reality installations yet, but they are great stepping stones to a more fulfilling and interactive experience.
How Art Museums Push the Envelope with Interactive Displays
Museums have always had great potential in their ability to educate because the large spaces allow people to roam, observe, ask questions, and thoroughly explore exhibits.
As an artist myself, I consider myself something of a museum connoisseur. In 2016, I visited an art exhibit by artist, Jacco Olivier, whose large-scale video installations of moving paintings seemed like they were going to jump off of the canvas. Layer by layer, swaths of paint moved toward the me, allowing me to appreciate each section of a piece. The movement and parallax motion of the visuals added another point of interest by striving to almost project the viewer into the painting.
Decades ago, artists such as abstract expressionist, Jackson Pollock, conveyed movement in his drip paintings, inviting the viewer to step into the paintings and become immersed in the color and texture.
The Mori Digital Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan is another great example of immersion. The images here are recent shots from the museum.
As a viewer, being able to visually participate in the work allows you to have a conversation with the content creator and to navigate the subject matter at hand. It makes the audience start asking questions: How did Jackson Pollock feel when creating this work? What is the historical context? How did Jacco Olivier achieve those vibrant colors and the subtle movements of composition?
Video exhibits similar to Jacco Olivier’s art installations and the Mori Digital Art Museum can invite viewers and students to actively participate in the subject matter they’re learning about, instead of just being a passive viewer.
How to Make Your Displays Interactive with Video
First, decide what will go onto your video display. This is a vital question to decide before anything else, and it will certainly affect all other decisions that come after it. What you display depends entirely on what you want to accomplish. You can offer demo videos, a selfie station to engage with a product, a search function, a touch-friendly diagram, an interactive timeline to illustrate history, and much more. Be sure your video requires an occasional finger tap or interaction to maintain the audience’s engagement.
Here are a few ways to add video interactivity, from simplest to most complex with associated pros and cons:
- Touch-screen tablet: Even a simple tablet can help to engage those who need to be physically involved in the learning process.
PRO: A tablet can be handy for other business purposes and is easily reusable for following events.
CON: Tablets are light and can be easy to steal.
TIP: Tablets can be secured relatively cheaply to keep them from wandering off. Search for “universal tablet security” for the brand of your choice. Good options can be found for about $40 and up.
- Touch-screen monitor: A full-size monitor makes a big, bold statement and is very attractive to someone passing by, especially if the displays is obviously interactive and potentially fun.
PRO: Touch-screen monitors are eye-catching and can display a great deal more information than a tablet. You can even consider using kiosk stands that are especially designed for events.
CON: Such monitors and kiosks are expensive, heavy, and require storage space when not in use.
TIP: Consider renting a display monitor for a one-time event.
- Explore consulting options for a truly customized display. When you need something special with the maximized pop, but you don’t have resources to devote to building it, consider hiring a consultant, such as BitLoft.
PRO: You can personally select the consultant who will make your complex, custom vision become a reality, while not putting extra burden on your already hard-working team members.
CON: Pricing can vary, depending on what you’re asking for.
TIP: Carefully weigh the gain of the custom display against a simpler display. Then if you decide you really need the custom display, weigh the expense of hiring out the work versus applying your own staff to the task and removing them from other projects.
When you put great design into your display, you’ll engage your audience’s imagination!
Rolando DeCastro is the Lead Storyboard Artist for BitLoft Game Studios and an Instructor at the Art Institute of Indianapolis. If you’re looking for customized technology and consulting for your latest interactive display, BitLoft wants to hear your vision: Contact Us.