Tower Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Its walkways attraction is 42 metres above the River Thames so provide stunning views of London for its visitors
In 2014, The City of London decided to upgrade the visitor experience on the walkways as it had been the same for many years and was starting to seem very outdated.
They brought together some incredible companies to add their own expertise into the mix, including the building of a glass floor so visitors can now watch the bridge open and close under their feet.
We were approached to design and install three interactive stations that could help visitors discover stories behind the engineering, the people, the architecture and the city that built Tower Bridge. All needed to be bespoke built, keeping in mind the diversity of the thousands of tourists that would use them week to week. This would mean making sure it was accessible to various nationalities, ensuring usability for children, adults and the differently abled, all whilst keeping in line with the highest quality standards.
We installed three 72" touch screen monitors on bespoke built stands that allow anyone who uses them to access the content with ease. These stations now house bespoke UIs tested and designed by our in-house team.
The City of London Authority decided to have two stations dedicated to footage of their lead technician talking about the bridge. These ranged from its construction, how it is maintained and controlled, right through to anecdotal stories from its history. We contracted and managed a third-party production studio to film the interviews and develop animations to go alongside the footage and integrated them all into a bespoke built UI. Users select their language on the screen then choose which content to access, all whilst keeping within the City of London's stringent brand guidelines.
For the third station, we designed an interactive experience where users can drag and pinch a google map for a set area around the bridge. Using an integration with the Maritime Authority data API the system allows users to click on boats moving along the Thames on the map and bring up live information about them. This can include what type of vessel they are, pictures and other stats that the authority holds. This gives the visitors the unique experience of being able to look out the window and see a boat on the Thames, find it on the map then instantly bring up details about it in real time allowing users to truly connect with their surroundings.
All stations needed to be connected to the internet so we can have remote access to them in the event of an issue and to roll out any updates the systems might need. Also, the live connection to the Maritime Authority meant we needed that station to be constantly online to ensure 100% functionality. This was achieved by installing a private wireless 4G network on the walkways. As the attraction is visited by so many people every day, we can deploy any changes automatically out of hours to avoid disruption.
Having designed, tested and got sign off, we then project managed the whole installation on the Bridge itself. Understandably a highly secure environment, we had to work within City of London guidelines and work out of hours to get the job done. The whole install was completed in one night and fully operational on the morning after with the exhibition opening to the general public with no issues whatsoever.