Driving Inclusivity: Crumlin Road Gaol’s Multilingual Tour Guide App

The Challenge

As a side-effect of the 2020 pandemic, Crumlin Road Gaol faced a sudden transition from traditional guided tours to self-guided tours. Recognising the potential of a visitor guide app, they saw an opportunity to create their own self-guided tour experience, where visitors could access rich content delivered via a compact rented device. Determined to go the extra mile, they also wanted to incorporate an audio tour, a comprehensive map, and provide the tour in multiple languages to cater to a range of visitors. Additionally, they wanted to ensure inclusivity by including a video to deliver British Sign Language (BSL). With a strict two-month deadline, the Hamilton Robson team had to work quickly and efficiently to launch the app in time for the Easter break, to capture the rush of tourists.

The Solution

The team developed the visitor guide app by leveraging AWS and React Native technologies. The app's primary features included audio tours, interactive maps, and multi-language support in five languages (Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, and English). A unique feature of the app was the integration of BSL videos, enabling an inclusive experience for individuals with hearing impairments and extended the tour's accessibility to a whole new group of individuals who would have otherwise missed out on the experience. Discreet Bluetooth beacons were also installed throughout the tour route, to enable precise mapping within the Grade-A listed building to preserve the building's fixtures and fittings. To mitigate the risk of visitors accidentally leaving with their rental devices, a security feature was further implemented into the app. The rental device would send reminders to users, ensuring they returned the devices at the end of their tour, enhancing security and preventing loss. Our proprietary CMS, ‘Marvel’ also proved to be an asset, providing efficient content management, and enabling quick updates which can be done remotely too reducing the need for service calls. The success of the app at Crumlin Road Gaol highlighted the potential for wider adoption of Marvel, ensuring enhanced remote management and content delivery for Hamilton Robson's clients.

The Impact

The development of the app has completely transformed the visitor experience at Crumlin Road Gaol. By providing a comprehensive navigation system, multilingual audio guides, and inclusive video content, we have created an immersive and educational experience for visitors of diverse backgrounds. The ability to deliver several audio languages gives the attraction an edge in the market and will drive increased revenue for the venue – with the project delivering ROI within eighteen months of deployment. Leveraging advanced technologies such as AWS and React Native and combined with the discreet installation of Bluetooth Beacons, we overcame challenges and ensured a seamless experience for users. Furthermore, the implementation of our security feature and the introduction our content management system Marvel, has contributed to increased efficiency and convenience for both visitors and our team. Moving forward, we are committed to continuously improving and expanding upon these innovations, setting new standards for visitor engagement and satisfaction.