The biggest interactive touch-wall in the country, which will be installed as the flagship technology feature inside Tūranga, Christchurch’s new central library, will cost $1.245 million.
The huge, high-tech “Discovery Wall” — a touch-sensitive, digital representation of Christchurch, allowing users to swipe their way through a virtual world of information — will span seven metres and be installed between the library’s ground-floor entrances, ready for its scheduled opening later this year.
The wall is being designed and installed by Wellington-based visitor experience company Gibson Group, who have completed similar projects in the United States, Denmark and Egypt.
Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says having the largest interactive touch-wall in the country is a significant coup for Christchurch.
“The scale and complexity of this technology is unlike anything else currently available in New Zealand, and to have it located inside our new central library is a major win for the city – it will be a big drawcard for residents and visitors alike.
“With regard to the $1.2 million cost, it was always the Council’s intention to release the figure – it was simply a question of timing.”
Ms Robertson says the Discovery Wall will be a considerable asset for the city.
“It represents significant value given the nature of the technology and the incredible amount of work currently going on behind the scenes to set it up so that it’s uniquely and intuitively Christchurch’s.
“A team of dedicated staff have been working for months with Gibson Group’s designers to make sure the experience will be every bit as impressive and successful as it has been in other major cities around the world.
“We’re grateful to Gibson Group for the concessions they’ve made and the risk they’ve undertaken to design and deliver such a sophisticated product in a relatively short timeframe. Everyone involved with the project is looking forward to unveiling what will be an amazing experience for the city once Tūranga opens.”
The Discovery Wall will feature an expansive cityscape made up of about 1,000 current and historical images sourced from photo archives spanning Christchurch City Libraries, the Christchurch Star and submissions from the public.
Users will be able to “fly” through the city and discover images and video that relate to Christchurch’s unique history and identity, even uploading their own stories, photos and video directly from their devices. The cityscape will serve as a front-end to a much larger collection of related content held by
Christchurch City Libraries.
A smaller, mobile digital wall will also be used for outreach to places such as schools, clubs and rest homes. There is also a website which is a significant part of the experience that allows the public to upload their own stories and images about their city, which then synchronise into the wall experience.
Other high-tech features planned for Tūranga include laser cutters, 3D printers, virtual reality consoles and robotics.