Visiting an aquarium is both fun and educative. Visitors will see all kind of sea animals, and natural human curiosity will make them want to know more about what they see. With display signs limiting the amount of words you can place on a sign, Palma Aquarium Mallorca found the right solution by installing AOPEN all-in-one touch displays.
Next to a sea of information the environment itself tends to be dimly lit. Therefore the management sought for an ‘out of the box’ digital communications solution to give its customers the maximum information in an easy-to-read format.
Palma Aquarium, based in Mallorca, Spain, was opened in 2007, and has the distinction of being the only aquarium in the world that has live coral in each of its 55 exhibition tanks.
Within the 55 tanks the aquarium boasts over 8,000 specimens of sea animals with over 700 species from around the world, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.
The aquarium is owned and operated by Coral World International, a company that maintains a number of aquariums around the world. In addition to the Palma Aquarium, the company owns The Underwater Observatory in Eilat, Israel, Maui Ocean Center in Hawaii, United States and AQWA in Australia.
Palma Aquarium has always been a pioneer in integrating technology into their design, and as technology evolves they sought for a more suited solution to enhance the experience of visiting an aquarium. Leticia Lope, Communication Manager at Palma Aquarium explains “Our former technology was installed in 2008 and at that moment it was at the forefront. After several years this technology became obsolete and that’s why we decided to invest in new interactive digital media”.
Given that the president of its parent company, Coral World International (Benjamin Kahn) has previously been awarded the “Hero of the Environment” by TIME magazine in recognition of his environmental efforts, the aquarium strives to be a leading icon towards a sustainable marine environment and a main educational platform for its visitors.
An upgrade of the display and signs in the aquarium was inevitable in order to provide better information to visitors in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. The new displays would need to be easy to manage by the aquarium’s staff as information has to be frequently updated to match with current knowledge.
Palma Aquarium hired Plexus, a technology provider and customer of AOPEN based in Spain, to seek the right solution. Plexus then installed 44 AOPEN WarmTouch 22” displays (WT22) in order to fulfill its need to present information in an engaging and exciting way. The WT22 is a fully interactive touchscreen supporting up to 10 touch points, and comes with a high-resolution 21.5-inch screen (resolution: 1920x1080). Because it is ideally suited to commercial environments, the WT22 features dust prevention technology with its slim bezel design, and the frameless front panel makes it easy to clean. All function keys are supported with security locks to limit tampering. On top of these hardware features, the system is also energy efficient to support ICT sustainability, which was particularly important, given the philosophy of the Palma Aquarium’s owners.
With the displays in place, each tank has an interactive screen that invites visitors to touch it and find out more about whatever sea animal caught their fancy. It is easy to update with new information as new species are being introduced to tanks, something that happens regularly within an aquarium. Frequent visitors will also be entertained by the ever changing content on the displays.
The WT22 was selected because it is quiet and capable of running 24/7. “These displays provide a great new experience for the visitors,” Leticia Lope, Communication Manager at Palma Aquarium, says. “Visitors can easily see what is in the tank, and if we have to change any information it is really easy for us to internally update it. But what is really important for us is that it is really aesthetic and has a low power consumption that fits very well within our facility and our ‘green’ philosophy.”
Because of the display’s aesthetic beauty and appeal, Palma Aquarium is also able to use them to provide customers with commercial information, such as what is available in the gift shop, which in turn helps to fund this critical sustainability resource.
Palma Aquarium isn’t done finding creative and innovative use for the displays; currently they are measuring the customer engagement by tracking click behavior on the screens. The analytics will be used in the future to create content that best fits with the behavior of the audience. Lope says “There is a big opportunity to use the fun interactive features of the 22” displays or perhaps smaller displays to give children an experience they will never forget”.
“The touchscreen invites people to interact with our information and is a really easy way for kids to be entertained in a playful manner, so in the near future we are integrating these tools in the aquarium’s kid’s playground. We’ll be able to offer them fun games to play that are educational in essence, a smart way of communicating the essence of a sustainable marine ecosystem,” Lope concludes.