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Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved


Press Release
For More Information, Call:
Mick Tinker, Index Information Ltd
For Release 12:00 noon GMT
July 16, 1993

The Writing's OFF the Wall at the London Transport Museum

CD32: The Hyper-Museum Project

As part of an innovative 4 million redisplay, The London Transport Museum is taking the opportunity to introduce state of the art interpretation techniques, to communicate effectively with their visitors and, in particular, to use to the full the wealth of imagery and data at their command which cannot be presented in conventional displays.

At the heart of many of the new displays will be the Commodore CD32. Its high quality graphics, double-speed CD drive, powerful 32 bit processor and custom display hardware provide the ideal platform for Audio Visual and Interactive Displays (AVID's).

When completed up to 109 CD32's will be used to provide Interactive Information, Video, Animation's, Interactive Sound Effects, Display Control and Background Sound Effect. All machines will be networked using a professional expansion system currently being developed by Index Information Ltd, the company producing all the computer displays.

"The plans to redisplay the London Transport Museum centre on the need to communicate effectively with a new generation of visitors. We plan to take this opportunity to introduce new methods of interpreting the collection, using the latest developments in design, graphics, audio visual and interactive displays," said Rob Lansdown, Head of Communications and Display for The London Transport Museum.

"In a fresh look at the way the Museum tells the 200 year story of London's urban public transport, we have taken the linear, chronological, sequence of story panels off the walls and associated them directly with the objects in the collection. In this non-linear, object oriented approach we will create 'islands' of interest and ensure that the vehicles and other original material tell the story."

"The visitor becomes free to explore the Museum, its collection and stories in a non-linear way, letting their own particular interest lead them around the Museum. Visitors will choose their own priorities and interests, navigating between the principle story "islands" to follow say, a social history or a technological theme."

The multi-media world has already experimented with the idea of a Hyper- Museum in the form of a virtual museum on videodisc, CD-ROM and hard disk.

The intention is to take this concept one step further. We want to take this Hyper-media and use it to go beyond the database to interact with and interpret a real museum. Instead of being shown images of the collection as you Hyper-link around the disc, we will take you to the actual objects!

In the real object based Museum the visitor is free to wander through the displays, dipping into the electronic Hyper-Museum when they want to. As the Museum's core displays will also be written in a non-linear style, the electronic sections will form an integral part of the whole interpretation, adding a further dimension to the visitor's experience.

The monitoring and control network is an essential element because of the major use being made of computers through out the museum, it will allow them to be managed and maintained efficiently and promptly. The network will detect any machine failure within seconds and notify the central monitoring machine. As well as the maintenance of the machines operations, volume control (including silencing of all machines quickly should an emergency occur) software updates and usage logging can be carried out with ease. The centralisation of all machines within one room ensures any machine can be replaced in seconds,

"Many of the qualities that will make the CD32 such a successful home entertainment system also make it the ideal commercial multi-media player," said Mick Tinker, Technical Director of Index Information Ltd. "A high quality and low cost delivery unit combined with a powerful development platform is allowing us to provide advanced displays at much lower costs than competitive systems."

"We have had a very positive response from early demonstrations of the projects, we feel that the concept will attract the attention of Museums and visitors from around the world. One of the new Underground Train simulators was shown at an exhibition and ever since the Museum has been receiving regular requests from companies wishing to hire the display for their own exhibition stands!"

Index Information Ltd.

Index Information Ltd., is one of the major UK commercial developers of Amiga and CD32 based custom software and graphics applications for
a wide range of Interactive Multimedia and Broadcast Graphics Displays.

Formed in January 1991 the company is rapidly expanding and currently has 8 staff, augmented by additional experts and consultants as required. Current and previous customers have included:

  • London Transport Museum
  • British Telecom (CD-ROM Interface R&D)
  • BBC Scotland ("Catchword" Game Show Software)
  • Photo-Me International Ltd.
  • Amiga Centre Scotland (Harlequin Graphics Card Software)
  • Xi Electronics Ltd. (Harlequin+ Graphics Card Software)
  • Team 4 (Kasmin Graphics Card Software)
  • Tritech Marketing Ltd. (Director-II Graphics Card Software)

Further information can be obtained from Mick Tinker, Technical Director, Index Information Ltd.

Electronic Mail:
Contact Number: +44-(0)256-703426

The London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum opened its doors in 1980, in the former Covent Garden Flower Market. Since then, the Museum has been at the centre of the renaissance of Covent Garden as one of London's liveliest quarters.

Since its opening some 2.5M people have admired the buses, trams, underground cars and other exhibits. Hopefully, they will also have learned something of the effect that the evolution of public transport systems has had on the shape of London and the lives of all its citizens.

Apart from the vehicles, the strength of the Museum's collections lies in its archive of 5,000 posters, more than 200,000 photographs and 2.5 million feet of film, all relating to the evolution of London's public transport systems.

Further information can be obtained from Gaye Littmoden or Heather Preston, London Transport Museum.

Contact Number: +44-(0)71-379-6344

The Concept of the Hyper-Museum

A new approach to museum displays

  • Object Oriented Interpretation
  • 109 Fully Integrated CD32 machines

All Multi-lingual Displays

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • English

Hyper-Links to guide the visitor around the Museum

  • Non-linear paths for the visitor to create and follow

One Complete System for:

  • Hyper-media Databases and Guides
  • Video Displays
  • Games and Simulators
  • Interactive and Background Sound Effects Generators
  • Display Control & Monitoring

Built on the success of previous Displays

A Development Package for other Museums & Galleries

  • A framework to fit Animation, Graphics, Photographs, Text,
    Sounds and Stories

CD32 Based Projects


An extensive research project to develop the interface standard to be used throughout the interactive exhibits.

In addition, the project included the

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