iPods take Bletchley Park into the 21st century

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Visitors aged six to 86 are enjoying using the new Multimedia Guides at Bletchley Park which were launched today.

To further enhance the visitor experience, The Bletchley Park Trust is supplying the informative and entertaining iPod Touch based Guides to every visitor – included in the admission price.

The Multimedia Guide, developed by creative content guide specialists ATS Heritage, brings the visitor’s experience of enjoying Bletchley Park into the twenty-first century. The handheld player is easy to use and lets people explore the Home of the Codebreakers informatively, at their own pace and in their own time. There is a choice of an Adult Tour or Family Tour, featuring puzzles and storytelling to make a visit exciting for children.

More than 700 iTouch Guides are available so that every visitor gets a multimedia tour. In fact this is one of the UK’s largest installations of iPod touches at a cultural site.

The Adult Tour is narrated by historian Jonathan Foyle and includes re-enactments and interviews with veterans. The educational and entertaining children’s tour is narrated through the character of a Wren and includes young Codebreaker challenges in the form of anagrams and puzzles.

Joan Strong, 86, said: “They’re very clear. So much detail’s been put in, it’s wonderful that there’s so much information about the systems they used and the people who did it as well.”

Mary Franklin, who’s also in her eighties, said: “The capacity to work with that secrecy is something people should know can be done.”

Marty Milton, 6, said “I learned that there were 59 million, million, million ways to make a code.”

Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said “This place is all about stories. It’s about experiencing the stories in the place where they happened. We hope to continue to attract new audiences and we want more families to engage with the site to keep the legacy alive. Bletchley Park has always been at the cutting edge of technology and this helps us to keep that going.”

Louise Wainwright, Senior Producer at ATS Heritage, said “We’ve seen people using the guide in exactly the way we wanted them to – dipping in and out rather than following it totally. It’s exciting to see people engaging with the Bletchley Park story in a different way.”