What do I need to keep in mind when designing my own (self-service) furniture?

Designing your own furniture

If you would like to design a furniture for our Podcatchers, you can choose between a design using loose Dockingstations or a design where you use a cabinet block which you slide into the furniture.

When you are designing a furniture this is what you need to keep in mind;

  • The design is of course very dependent on the number of Podcatchers that you want to supply to your visitors. (Make sure to think about the future, when you might want to add players).
  • Per 10 Podcatchers you will receive 1 Dockingstation
  • When designing for loose Dockingstations; each Dockingstation has its own USB cable (and power-adapter with older Dockingstations) which needs to be connected to the Syncbox. So make sure to keep enough space available behind the Dockingstations for these cables (and extension courts when needed)
  • Up to 10 Dockingstation (or 1 cabinet block) can be directly connected to one single Syncbox, which in turn needs to be connected to the internet. The cable length of the USB cable from each loose Dockingstation to the Syncbox  is 90 CM, so the Syncbox needs to be placed near the Dockingstations. Because the USB cables also power the dockingstations, a Hub can not be used to extend the length of the cables.
  • When using a Cabinet block the cables are already connected inside the block and the Syncbox is placed in the back if the block (see the manual)
  • When designing for loose Dockinstations; keep room for the Syncbox(es). Depending on the set up, you will probably have to use multiple Syncboxes (100 Podcatchers can be connected to 1 Syncbox)
  • It is also important to take into account where you place the Syncbox because it must be easily accessible if you have to restart it.
    In addition, it is also important that you have easy access to the back of the furniture unit, if there are problems with a USB cable / power adapters /extension cords / switch etc.
  • The entire setup must be connected 24/7 to power and a wired internet connection for the correct operation of the system.
  • Also make sure the furniture has enough possibilities to ventilate warm air.
  • Don’t place the top row with Dockingstations to high, otherwise you cannot see the lights (the status) of the Podcatchers
  • Don’t place the bottom row with Dockingstations to low.
    Each Podcatcher is equipped with a neck lanyard. When the Podcatchers are placed in the Dockingstations, the lanyards hang down. So if the bottom row is to low,  the lanyards will hang on the floor.
  • We recommend to place the lowest row of Dockingstations at a height of  at least 100 cm from the ground.  That way they are still easy to access for infants and visitors in a wheelchair.
  • We have 4 info-graphics available that explain the handout of the Podcatcher which you can add to the (self-service) furniture if you like; https://help.guideid.com/kb/icons-for-signage/

Also important

We strongly advise not to use drawers in your furniture design for the distribution of the Podcatchers for several reasons; the USB cables (and power adapters) that are connected to each Dockingstation will be under tension constantly when sliding the drawers in and out. In addition, the cords can easily get stuck and you cannot properly detect wear on the wiring. Chances are also very high that cables are pulled from the Syncbox so no connection can be made when synchronizing, which in turn ensures that not all Podcatchers are synchronized

Take your visitor flow into account (with self-service, the amount of visitors able to access the furniture at the same time) and how you would like to lead them. When having one furniture for instance there are 2 flows; visitors who have just entered the museum and need to be able to easily access the furniture, to take out and activate a Podcatcher. While the second flow (visitors who are leaving the museum) must return their Podcatcher. These two flows should not interfere with each other.

Placement of the Start IDentifiers

To activate a language, you need to point your Podcatcher at a Start IDentifier. These are always placed at (or near) the distribution point.
You can either integrate them in the furniture or make a separate board where people can activate their Podcatchers (so separate from the furniture). A reason to do so, could be the visitor flow, or because of  limited space around the furniture.

If you do integrate them into your furniture, please make sure not to place them flat (with a table design) or underneath the last row with Dockingstations (with a wall design).

Other important information about placing your (Start) IDentifiers can be found here.

Casing of the Identifiers

If you prefer to place the Identifiers in a casing, please keep in mind that our Identifiers are equipped with Bluetooth functionality. The Bluetooth signal cannot be transmitted through metal. This means that Identifiers cannot be placed in a metal casing.

Furniture examples

Covid 19 – Audio files

We have recorded a few standard phrases which you can use and add to your audio guide. E.g. “please make sure to keep 1 ½ meter distance from each other. Follow the one-way path in the museum to avoid having too many people in one area.”

The phrases are available in 4 languages and can be downloaded using the following links; 

Covid 19 – Text & Audio – NL
Covid 19 – Text & Audio – EN
Covid 19 – Text & Audio – FR
Covid 19 – Text & Audio – BE

Tip! You can also use the text provided in the examples above to translate and record in other languages.

COVID-19 FAQs

1. Will it still be possible to use Podcatchers when we reopen?

We understand you will have doubts whether you can still use handheld devices to guide your visitors. We will do our utmost to help you to be able to hand out the players in a safe and hygienic way.

Lots of museums are not allowed to guide the visitors in groups anymore. An audio tour can be the perfect solution to guide your visitors without having to stand in a group. You can make the tour individual and a visitor can keep distance from other visitors.

If you count the Podcatchers and give those to all visitors, you know exactly how many people are inside your museum. This way you have the perfect crowd control.

We advise to give guidance to the visitor, telling them where to go and also warn them to keep distance.  Guide ID can provide standards texts, recorded in several languages, which you can add to your tour.

We advise to use short stops to avoid people standing too long at one spot and offer the longer stories online.  

We all want to reduce the risk in spreading disease and would like to advise you in the best way. We advise to clean the Podcatcher before you hand them out to the visitor. Like supermarkets are currently doing with trolleys and baskets. See point 3 how to do this in the best way.

The Podcatcher is mostly used without headsets. We advise to avoid using headsets for hygienic reasons. If you still want to use them, we advise to ask visitors to use their own headphones.  Our hardware uses a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is commonly used for most headphones. Another option could be to offer earbuds to the visitors that they can keep after the visit. This can be an extra revenue if you sell them. However, bear in mind that it is not an environmentally friendly solution. Guide ID is not providing these earbuds.

 

2. Are there any alternatives?

Guide ID is offering all clients to launch their tours online at no extra costs. This way you can offer the tours to all visitors to be listened and read at home. Ask your business manager for advice how you can make use of this feature.

Visitors might ask for an App, so they can use their own smartphone. Before the Corona crisis started, cultural App’s were not used as much as handheld devices. Visitors preferred not to use their own phone for audio guiding. However, we can imagine that this will change now. Therefore, Guide ID has put full force resources on the development of a new app.

End of Q2 we will launch our new App, please ask your business manager for more information.

Until the launch of the new App, the existing Podcatcher app can be used for free for all our clients. Please contact our helpdesk if you need more details.

 

3. How do I clean the players?

As per this article:

Gently wipe them with a slightly moist soft cloth with a regular all-purpose household cleaning product, or use a disposable all- purpose cleaning tissue. Please keep water temperature below 60 °C to prevent degradation of the Podcatcher plastic.

We suggest to use normal (all-purpose) cleaning products, or specific types of alcohol wipes to clean the Podcatcher:

  • Soap
  • Ajax cleaner
  • Detergents
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) wipes
  • Ethyl Alcohol wipes (Ethanol, with concentration up to 96%)

Make sure not to use acetone or ammonia based cleaning products, or to expose the Podcatcher to strong bases or acids.

 

4. Do you supply cleaning wipes?

We are not supplying the wipes. We advise you to buy these locally.

 

5. How do I clean the lanyards?

You can wash them in the washing machine in a laundry bag at maximum of 60 degrees Celsius. We advise to tie the lanyards together (25 pieces per bundle) so they will not get tangled. You can also use a spray with a maximum of 75% alcohol. Let them dry before you hand out the lanyards again.  If you wish we can offer wristbands instead of lanyards that you hang around the neck. Please contact the helpdesk if you would like to start using these.

 

6. Is self-service still possible?

A number of our clients are offering the Podcatcher via a self-service desk. If possible, we advise to have a staff member taking control of the cleaning of the players. If this is not possible, make sure you have cleaning facilities in sight so visitors can do this themselves before they use the players.

 

7. Can we put a plastic cover around the Podcatcher? Will it still work?

We have tested the option of using a plastic cover around the Podcatcher to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As our Podcatcher does not have a tactile screen, it will still work the same.

After our tests our findings were that visitors take the plastic cover of instead of leaving it on. This is why we do not recommend the use of a plastic cover, unless staff is available to instruct the visitors on the right use of the plastic cover. You have to be able to offer a new plastic cover for each visitor to make sure the player is 100% hygienic.

If you want to know more about the use of plastic covers for your Podcatchers you can contact the Guide-ID Helpdesk. Helpdesk@guide-id.com

 

8. Can we use the MapMyVisit Mobile Website for text reading? We would like to prevent visitors getting too close to the text panels (and each other).

In the MapMyVisit Mobile Website you can choose to add a text overlay in your stops. This will show the texts which have been uploaded in our Toureditor.

 

9. Can we take off the lanyards for hygienic reasons?

We understand you want to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and save the effort of cleaning the lanyards. You can take the lanyards off but bear in mind that this is less comfortable for your visitors and the chance they will put the player in their pocket or bag is bigger. Guide ID cannot take responsibility for lost players. It might be interesting to have a look at an alarm system that will also react on players hidden in pockets or bags.

As an alternative solution can be to use our wristbands.

 

10. Do you have standard texts we can use in our tour (like “keep distance”)?

We have recorded a few standard phrases which you can use and add to your audio guide. E.g. “please make sure to keep 1 ½ meter distance from each other. Follow the one-way path in the museum to avoid having too many people in one area.”

The phrases are available in 4 languages and can be downloaded using the following links;  

Covid 19 – Text & Audio – NL
Covid 19 – Text & Audio – EN
Covid 19 – Text & Audio – FR
Covid 19 – Text & Audio – BE

Tip! You can also use the text provided in the examples above to translate and record in other languages.

What are the payment methods?

Bank transfer

Guide-ID B.V. has a bank account with Rabobank
IBAN (account number): NL27 RABO 0119642182
SWIFT (BIC): RABONL2U
Please quote reference: Invoice number xxxxxx (see invoice for details)

How to contact our customer support department?

Our customer support department can be reached by telephone or email from Monday through Friday from 08.30 o’clock in the morning until 17.00 o’clock in the afternoon (CET, Amsterdam)

Telephone number:  +31 (0)570-572202 (option 1 support)
Email:                           helpdesk@guideid.com

If we cannot be reached by telephone, during opening hours, your call will be forwarded to our telephone service. Your message will then be passed on to our employees to follow up.

Your email will be read during our opening hours and responded to, accordingly within one day. If we cannot be reached by email, you will receive an out of office message with instructions. 

In case of emergencies during the weekend, you can reach us via WhatsApp on +31638072466  from 08.30 o’clock in the morning until 17.00 o’clock in the afternoon (CET, Amsterdam). We will response to your emergency within 3 hours.

(An emergency would be out-of-use Podcatchers so visitors cannot use the audio tour. Or when the Podcatcher Portal is not available).

In case you are not happy with a moment of contact with us, please let us know. You can contact our helpdesk or if this doesn’t feel right, contact the Business Managers.

How to add a survey (enquête) to your tour?

Guide ID can provide a standard survey which you can add to your tour.
It is one Stop and contains the following content;


Standard survey content

Thank you very much for visiting. We would greatly appreciate it if you would take a few moments to answer a few simple questions. This will take no longer than 2 minutes.

Press any button to start

1. What is your gender?
Press A for male
Press B for female

2. What is your age?
Press A for 20 years or younger
Press B for between 21 and 50 years
PresC for 51 year or older

3. How far did you travel to visit the museum?
Press A for less than 20 kilometers
Press B for between 20 and 75 kilometer
Press c for more than 75 kilometer

4. How did you become aware of this exhibition?
Press A for via the internet
Press B from family, friends or acquaintances
Press C for other media

5. How would you rate the exhibition?
Press A for excellent
Press B for good
Press C for average

6. How would you rate the content of this audio tour?
Press A for excellent
Press B for good
Press C for average

7. How did you find the use of the handset during the tour?
Press A for very easy
Press B for easy
Press C for complicated

Thank you for you participation. Your feedback is very much appreciated and will be used to improve our visitor services. We hope to see you again soon!


The standard survey is available in 6 languages; Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.

If you would like to implement it in your tour you can contact us at helpdesk@guideid.com and let us know. We will then send out an IDentifier (with a survey label) for you to connect to this new stop. Or you can connect a spare IDentifier you already have. 

Once the survey is in use at your museum, you can view the visitor answers in your Analytics using the “selected options”

Adding your own Survey

Like any other Stop, you can also create your own survey and add any question and answer possibilitie you wish. You can build the right structure in a Stop using the Clip flow editor. (Click here for more information about adding and editing clips in a Stop). Tip; make sure you do not add more then 7 questions (preferably 5) because we know from experience that visitors don’t have the patience to answer the whole survey when asked more questions. 

The right structure for a survey in your Stop should be;

As you can see in the picture above, it’s important to separate the question (blue clip) and the answer possibilities (orange clip) in two separate clips in order to keep the functionality of the volume and pause/play buttons available when the question is being played. Also always add a short description of the question in the clip title that plays the answer possibilities (example; what is your gender?) and in the clip title of the A/B/C choice clips (example; A = male)

At the end of the survey you can connect the last A/B/C clips to an end message.

How to make a quiz or add a kids tour

Basic

You can add layers in a Stop to provide extra information to your visitor (for example;  “if you’d like to know more about the painter press A, if you would like to know more about his style of painting press B etc). But you can also use the layers if you would like to add a quiz question in a Stop. You can achieve this by adding A/B/C options in your Clip flow for that specific stop.

Note; If you would like to use such a flow, we recommend starting out with an introductory Clip, which connects with an ‘Auto continue’ to the actual question clip, which then connects to the possible choice clips A, B, and/or C. You need to use this flow so the visitor can still adjust the volume on the Podcatcher or use the pause/ playback button, while the audio is playing but no question is yet being asked.

The example below shows a A/B/C flow used for a quiz Stop. When the Stop is triggered, the introduction will play first, explaining what this Stop is about. It would have content like “The Podcatcher is an amazing device. It was made by ….”. When the introduction Clip’s content finishes, the question will be posed (yellow clip) for example “The first Podcatcher was built in which country? Press the ‘A’ button for the United States of America, ‘B’ for Japan, or ‘C’ for the Netherlands”. When option A is chosen, the ‘Option A’ clip would play “That is not correct. The Americans did not build the first Podcatcher.” and a similar Clip for option B. Both of them would ask the question again, since they have an ‘Auto continue’ connection back to the question Clip. Option C would yield “That’s correct! The first Podcatcher was built in the Netherlands in the early 2000s.”. The flow then ends, as there are no more connections to follow.

Adding a quiz Stop to your “standard” tour can be a fun addition to the content, but it is also a great way for setting up a kids tour. Imagine all the fun questions, extra information or sounds you can add to make a cool tour especially for children. You could take them on a treasure hunt where they get clues by selecting the right answer to a question, or when choosing an A/B or C option.  The sky is the limit, it only takes some extra effort and imagination.

Would you like to add a kids tour for the children visiting your museum?

It is very easy to add a kids tour at your museum while making use of the same IDentifiers which are already in place at the museum in your standard tour. To do so, you have to add a new tour > copy the Stops from the standard tour to your new tour (don’t forget to select the triggers to be copied as well) Note; do not use “add existing” when adding the new stops but make sure to copy them! > then alter the Stops in the new tour with the new content. You can even add or remove clips, that is no problem. You will only need to add a separate Start IDentifier for this new tour.

If you would like the adults to be able to listen to the content of the kids tour as well, or vice versa, you will need to place 2 IDentifiers with each object in the museum, one to trigger the adult (standard) content and one to trigger the kids content. In that case you can add the new kids Stops to your standard tour and do not need to add extra Start IDentifiers.

Note; if the kids tour (or Stops) is (are) not available in the same languages as the standard tour, you need to set the fallback for the other languages

Would you like to add points to collect to your kids tour Stops?

Quiz question stops are often used in a kids tour, because they can add a lot of fun to the tour. To make it even more interesting for (older) kids, you can also add points to the right answer in a Stop for the kids to collect! The Podcatcher keeps track of the points collected.

Before you can start adding the points in the stops, you have to think about how many questions you have, how many points you would like to add to the right answer and what the score possibilities are. Then you have to decide how you would like the kids to know how many points they have scored. There are two possibilities; 

1. You can either choose to let the kids know exactly how many points they have scored.
2. Or you can set up different categories and, depending on the amount of points they collected, assign them to a specific category (for instance gold, silver, and bronze)

So here is an example; you have 10 questions,  for each right answer they get 5 points. That will give you the following possibilities;

 0  points – no right answers were given
 5  points – 1 right answer was given
10 points – 2 right answers were given
15 points – 3 right answers were given
… etc …
50 points – all 10 answers were right

Note; only the first given answer will count for points. So if they choose the wrong answer, go back to the question and the choose the right answer, these points do not count.

If you want to let the kids to know their score using the 1st possibility, you will need to record 11 audio files for the pronunciation of the scores; 0 points, 5 points, 10 points… etc… 40 points, 45 points and 50 points

Using the 2nd possibility (categories) you will have to divide the points into the number of categories. For example;

 0-15  points – Bronze
20-35 points – Silver
40-50 points – Gold

You will then only have to record 3 audio files. (Example gold;  “wow you are an expert! you have earned a golden medaillon” or silver; “you didn’t have all the questions right, but you have earned a silver medaillon!” etc.  This also allows you to really handout something special for instance a gold, silver, or bronze medallion / star.

Adding points to the “right” clip in a Stop

When you select A/B or C you can immediately add the points in the field Score. Note; your site has to be set to this mode by Guide ID. If you cannot add a Score in the screen please contact us at helpdesk@guideid.com and we can implement this setting on for you.

But how can the kids read out their score?

You can let the kids know their score during the tour and of course their final score at the end of the tour.  The way to do this is by adding a special Score clip in a stop. This can be added in a stop which also contains a question, or an stop specially added for reading out the score. You can even add an instruction for instance “press A to hear your score so far”.  The only limitation is you cannot add another clip after the score clip

To add a Score clip select “add a clip” in the Clip editor and choose Score.

 

 

In the clip flow you will then see the green clip added. As soon as the audio from the clip above has been played it automatically goes to the Score clip, and this activates the action on the Podctacher to run the logs to read out the collected points and then play the right audio which pronounces the score.

Note; This whole setup is different then the old way where you had to use a special Score IDentifier to read out the scores. These are not being produced anymore. So if you use(d) this in the museum for a tour, you will have to make some adjustments to the tour!

Adding audio stops for the pronunciation of the scores

To be able to playback an audio file which tell you the score (when pointing at a Score IDentifier) you need to record and add these to your tour, just as any other Stop. So in the example above, if you chose to pronounce the exact score you will need to add 11 Stops in your tour or when using categories, 3 Stops. 

The next step is to add triggers to these score Stops (not actual IDentifiers but score pronunciation triggers) which can be found when you select “show more” when adding a trigger. Note; you can only choose these triggers if your site has been set to this mode by Guide ID. So if you cannot select them contact us at helpdesk@guideid.com and we implement this setting on for you.

When you have selected Score pronunciation, a new screen will pop up in which you can add the score;

When using exact scores you only need to fill in the actual score for that stop in the field Single value / Minimum.

If you use categories you enter the lowest points of that range in the field Single value / Minimum and the highest points of that range in the field Maximum.

When you press finish the triggers will be added to your stop. For a single score stop it will show one trigger, for a category it will show all the triggers in that range.

What are the replacement fees for our hardware?

Hardware that becomes defective during normal use, will be replaced free of charge for the duration of the contract period. If you have such hardware, you can send it to our head office for replacement. Here you can read how to do that.

In case your hardware gets lost, stolen or damaged we have to charge the replacement fees which you can find in the table below (prices are in euro’s)

How can I prevent Podcatchers from going into an error state?

Podcatcher we receive for repairs often don’t include a description of what’s wrong with them, and sometimes returned players seem to work just fine. To give you a better understanding of the general meaning of the lights on the Podcatchers and the required action, we have made the Podcatcher LED Status sheet.  Combining that and the Podcatcher LED Error sheet you can determine whether or not a Podcatcher (in an error state) needs to be sent for repairs.

Although we always replace our Podcatchers (which are in an error state or need to be repaired) free of charge, we would like to prevent you from unnecessarily spending money on shipping costs.

To make optimal use of our system and prevent your Podcatchers from going into an error state it’s important to:

  • Place a Podcatcher back into the Dockingstation when returned after use, so it can charge again
  • Firmly push the Podcatcher into a slot when placing it back into the Dockingstation
  • Place all Podcatchers back into the Dockingstations at the end of the day, so they can charge and sync overnight
  • Always sync replacement Podcatchers (whether for missing or repaired players), because they do not hold the content yet
  • You can try syncing a Podcatcher with an error in a different slot to make sure the problem doesn’t lie in the Dockingstation slot
  • Make sure the Sync Console is up, running and connected to a wired internet connection 24/7

If the Podcatcher has been physically damaged, has a distorted sound or makes a rattling sound when shaken, it needs to be replaced. Hardware defects can’t be solved by syncing the player.

I have received the hardware, what next?

Note; You can start building your new tour in the Toureditor without the hardware being present.

As soon as you receive the hardware from us, you can finalize the tour by connecting the IDentifiers (triggers) to the stops in your tour. You need to connect at least one IDentifier to each stop in your tour. Every IDentifier has a unique number which you can find on the back of the IDentifier (for example EF:FF:FF:43).

There will be 1 or more IDentifiers with a language/country flag, these need to be connected as a Start IDentifier for the different languages in which you provide the tour. (Note; you need a different IDentifier for each language).

When all the stops are added in the tour (have an IDentifier connected and contain an audio file) you need to “publish” the new tour. After that you can mount the IDentifiers next to the objects in the exhibition.

The rest of the installation is very simple;

  • Connect the Dockingstations to the Sync Console or Syncbox that we have provided and plug everything into the power socket.
    Note; a Sync Console will already be installed and linked to your site. A Syncbox needs to be connected by the customer (see instructions)
  • Insert the Podcatchers firmly
  • Connect the Sync Console or Syncbox to a wired internet connection (note the whole set up needs to stay connected to power and internet 24/7)
  • Start the Sync Console or Syncbox
  • Log on to the Podcatcher Portal, go to “sync” and press Sync Now.
  • Now the content will be synced on to the Podcatchers.

We have made an instruction video available as well. In this particular video we show you how to install the setup with loose, new Dockingstations and a Syncbox.

The 10 Podcatchers in a Dockingstation are synced one after another, but all connected Dockingstations start and sync simultaneously.

When a Podcatcher light turns green, you can take it out and start testing your new tour.

Every day our server connects automatically to the PC provided, and checks the Podcatchers to ensure updates are written on to the Podcatcher, to restore Podcatchers which have an error and to retrieve the logs and statistics from the Podcatchers to add to the Analytics.

Please feel free to contact helpdesk@guideid.com if you have any questions.