Up-to-the-minute technology and history are combining with the installation of a Casio Virtual Presenter in the County Museum, Dundalk.
The joint project by the Dundalk Museum, Casio and Quick Response Ireland, based in Ennis, Co Clare, is the first of its kind in the country and the first such installation at a European museum. Internationally, only one other such Virtual Presenter has gone into use, in Japan.

The Virtual Presenter is a cutting-edge tool of Casio Signage, with the power to captivate passers-by with a realistic-looking character that talks to them from the screen. The screen itself is shaped like the character, which can be freely selected to match the characteristics needed to bring people into a given location. The character’s appearance and voice can be changed easily to keep repeat customers from losing interest. It also offers multilingual support for visitors who speak various languages, and its light source lasts approximately 20,000 hours.

The unit installed in the Museum today is a desktop virtual presenter which will relay information about four key museum exhibits - Vere Foster, Napper Tandy, King William of Orange and Olympian Beatrice Hill-Lowe.

A full size virtual presenter is to be installed in the Museum reception area in the coming weeks. It will introduce the visitor to the museum in general and will then guide them to the desktop virtual presenter.

James Maher of Quick Response Ireland explained how the company linked up with the County Museum

“Quick Response Ireland is focused on bringing history and heritage to life using web based technology tools – facilitating affordable mobile engagement for everybody.

“We have been working with Brian Walsh over the past number of months integrating new technologies such as QR Codes, Augmented Reality and Mobile seamlessly into the County Museum environment in Dundalk.

One such technology discussed was the Casio Virtual Presenter. By using new technologies in an appropriate and meaningful manner, we can energise visitor engagement, provide a ‘voice’ to museum objects promoting the story behind the objects, by promoting the relevance and resonance of the museum and bring the museum to the people.
Oliver Davis, Business Development Manager, Casio UK, who was in Dundalk for the arrival of the desktop Virtual Presenter said “It is fantastic to see the many ways in which Casio Signage is put to use.

“We love the idea that the desktop virtual presenter here today and the full size version to be installed in the near future will demonstrate how modern technology and history can work amazingly well together.”

Speaking on the installation of the Virtual Presenter, Brian Walsh, Museum Curator, said: “There are times when hi-tech and history works well together and I feel this is one of those occasions.

“Both the desktop and full-sized Virtual Presenters can be updated as exhibitions in the Museum change, which is fantastic given that we have a great turnover of activity here in the County Museum.

“We were trying to think of a name to suit our new member of the Museum team and have settled on Cassie-O, so now we just have to work on a name for her sister who arrives in the next few weeks.”