26 July 2010
Queenstown-based HeadQuarters Network Design and Consultancy has recently installed its groundbreaking ‘LiveTouch’ technology at the Department of Conservation (DOC) Queenstown Regional Visitor Centre in the heart of the tourism resort.
The free-to-use system delivers an advanced information service to visitors wanting to research destinations ahead of their trip, with four 23-inch high definition screens displaying conservation areas and walking tracks within the Wakatipu Basin, Fiordland, the Wanaka region and Mount Aspiring National Park.
Touch-screen technology linked to high-speed web technology enables visitors to select from virtual fly-through videos, spectacular imagery, track guides, weather updates and fire and avalanche safety advice.
HeadQuarters’ Technical Director Uan Spijkerbosch said the goal was to create a stable, enjoyable and informative resource for day-trippers and hikers before they set off on their journey.
"Taking DOC’s huge resource of paper and online material from maps to track knowledge, we compiled that information into an easily accessible and easy to navigate web interface designed specifically for touch screens," he said.
"The information is fed from a server based within the DOC office which also goes online to gather weather and up-to-date information about the area, so everyone from hikers setting out on a big trip to day walkers can head out into the hills well informed and suitably equipped.
"Using DOC’s stunning material we gave the service a visual and creative design to help reflect the natural beauty of our region."
"It’s so detailed, customers can almost wander through the New Zealand countryside before even leaving the information centre."
DOC Queenstown Centre Manager Andrew Evans said the work was commissioned by the DOC Wakatipu Area Office to provide customers with an effective and innovative platform to learn about the range of recreation and opportunities on conservation land, as well as important safety information.
He said the touch screen upgrade was largely due to customer response and had been ‘very well received’.
"In the past we had people constantly touching the television screen thinking it was touch-screen technology but it would just be playing a video on loop.
"We realised then that something like this would be a great introduction to the centre," he said.
"We’re delighted with the result. Almost everyone who comes into the centre engages with the screens."