Story Drop: getting ready to drop

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Story Drop logo

Update 9 September 2013: Story Drop is now live!

It’s been two years in the making, but tomorrow we will finally launch the beta version of Story Drop, a smartphone app we have developed in partnership with Brighton based digital development company Surface Impression. The app will be going live tomorrow morning, and we will celebrate the launch with a small event at Brighton Museum tomorrow, as part of the Brighton Digital Festival.

But what is it?

Out and about

Story Drop is a means of telling stories about Brighton & Hove, and embedding them in the city. It works a little like a dead letter drop. We’ve taken the stories that can be told through some of the objects in our collections, and dropped them in locations throughout the city. Using the Story Drop app, you can pick a tour, find where these stories are located, and travel to the place to unlock the story and some additional content.

For us, it’s a way of telling stories about our collections in the places where these objects were made, found or inspired. It’s also, hopefully, a fun way to encourage people to explore Brighton & Hove, and learn more about the city’s heritage.

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What’s on it?

At launch, Story Drop will come with three tours. These ‘tours’ are not tours in the sense of a traditional walk from A to B, with several points of interest in between; it’s intended to be nibbled, so you can dip in and out of locations whenever it’s convenient.

Heritage at Hand is the biggest tour. Written by my colleague Kate Elms, with suggested content by the local history team, this features 18 stories dropped across Brighton & Hove. With a voice-over from local actor Nick Boulton (whose voice you may recognise from the Sound Explorer in our Into the Blue exhibition at Hove Museum), the tour is designed to cover a wide area of the city and showcase the range of our collections. It also explores some of the thematic links that connect our collections: what does this have to do with this?

Pavilion Estate is a short introduction to the buildings and grounds that make up the former palace of George IV. It provides a glimpse of how the buildings were used in their royal history, and how they have evolved in the years of civic use.

Story Drop Mystery tour has been produced for the Brighton Digital Festival, and will close at the end of September. It’s a very short tour of three landmarks near the Pavilion Estate. Complete the tour tomorrow and pop into Brighton Museum, and you could win a small prize…

Mystery Tour event

The event is a free drop-in between 11am and 3pm tomorrow, Saturday 7 September. You can either download the app before coming along, or download it at the museum using the free wifi. The first few visitors to drop-in with the app showing a completed Mystery Tour will win a prize.

Several of the Royal Pavilion and Museums’ digital team will be at the event, along with the developers from Surface Impression. It will also be a chance to find out more about Story Drop, and chat to us about our other digital work.

When can I get it?

Story Drop is funded by Arts Council England’s Renaissance programme, and will be available to download free of charge. It will be released for both Android devices (version 4.0 upwards)  and iPhones (iOS 5 upwards), via Google Play and the App Store. Links will be added to this post once the app is live, and we’ll also post updates on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Kevin Bacon, Digital Development Officer

Brighton Digital Festival 2013 ogo

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