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

How do I clean the Podcatchers?

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.

What is the best way to 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.

How can I check the IDentfier code when I can’t see the back?

If it is not possible to check the sticker with the IDentifier code at the back of the IDentifier (for example because it is mounted on the wall) you can also do this with a Podcatcher.

To do this take the following steps;
While the Podcatcher is still in the docking station > press the two left buttons (A/B) with both thumbs and take the Podcatcher out of the docking station while pressing. Wait until all the lights are blinking and then release the buttons. Now aim the Podcatcher at the IDentifier(s) and the Podcather will tell you the serial number. (Note on the interior of the IDentifier there is also a  sticker with the IDentifier number programmed)

How can I mount an IDentifier?

You can mount the IDentifier with screws using the ears at the sides of the IDentifier or using double sided tape. Note; the ears can also be removed by breaking them from front to back.

What is important for the placement of my (Start) IDentifiers ?

Object IDentifiers

The minimum distance you have to keep in between 2 IDentifiers is 30 cm. The best height is 130 cm from the ground, this way they are easy to trigger for each person (tall/small/kids/visitors in a wheel chair etc.) The best way to mount them is horizontal against the wall / cabinet or post.

Outdoor; make sure the label is attached correct and firm and that the IDentifier is positioned upright (90 degree angle). Also, make sure water can flow away from the IDentifiers during/after rainfall

Indoor; When mounted flat on a table, they are not easy to trigger because of the angle. If you would like to mount them on a flat service always make sure to tilt them towards the visitor, preferably in a 45 degree angle


The IDentifier is able to trigger a Podcatcher within 30 cm on average.

Start IDentifiers

The minimum distance you have to keep in between is 30 cm. With multiple languages it’s best to hang them staggered diagonal from each other so the visitor does not accidentally activate another language when bringing the Podcatcher to his/her ear.

If you only have a limited space to place them, not enough room to place all your language IDentifiers, you can contact our helpdesk so we can make a change in the settings, which makes it possible to place them closer together.

Podcatcher instructions (text) and Symbols (.ai) to add on a signage / or language activation panel

If you would like to add (or record) instructions for your visitors, on how to use the Podcatcher, you can use the text below;


“You start the commentary by pointing the player at an activation point, holding it no more than thirty centimeters (or one foot) away like a remote control. You don’t have to press any buttons; the commentary will start automatically after the beep.

The device has three buttons. Use the button on the left to turn the volume down and the button on the right to turn the volume up. Use the middle button to pause the commentary and then restart it.

If you are asked to select a fragment, the buttons function as options A, B and C.”


“U start een verhaal door de speler binnen 30 cm op een activeerpunt te richten, net als een afstandsbediening. U hoeft daarbij geen toets in te drukken, het commentaar start vanzelf na de beep/pieptoon.

Er zitten drie toetsen op het apparaat. Met de linker toets zet u het volume zachter, met de rechter toets zet u het volume harder. De middelste toets gebruikt u om informatie te pauzeren en vervolgens weer te hervatten.

Tijdens een keuzefragment functioneren de toetsen als A-B-C keuzetoetsen”.

We also have icons available which you can use on your signage or language activation point.

These icons are the first steps on how to activate the Podcatcher. You can download the 4 icons here;

Adobe Illustrates files:
1 Take Podcatcher out
2 Select a Language
3 Listen
4 Put Podcatcher back

JPG files:
1 Take Podcatcher out
2 Select a language
3 Listen
4 Put Podcatcher back