Chateau du Rivau

Case Study | Audiopen

The Scenario

Situated just a stone’s throw from Chinon, the Rivau Castle was built in 1420 and brought as a dowry by Anne de Fontenay for her marriage to Pierre de Beauvau, who was Grand Chamberlain to Charles VII. The medieval fortress reveals an enchanted world: its ancient architecture, gothic interiors, stables and romantic gardens offer an absolutely bewitching experience to its visitors. In 1918 it was successfully classified as a French Historic Monument.


The Opportunity

In 2015 the Castle’s resourceful owners were looking for an interpretation tool to help visitors discover and understand the site’s story by the means of a playful and interactive tour. The priority was to create an enriching self-guided tour accessible to all types of visitors. The tour was to cover all of the grounds: the castle, its gardens, stables…

The Solution

The Rivau Castle contacted Sycomore to help them find the most appropriate self-guiding solution to bring its story to life. Sycomore thought the Audiopen was the most appropriate device for the Castle. The Audiopen is perfectly suited to indoor and outdoor tours. It is an intuitive and interactive concept composed of an optical reading pen which can be paired with a large variety of printed media: tours, maps, boards, labels, stickers, brochures. In this case we decided to pair the Audiopen with a paper itinerary map presenting the Castle, its surrounding gardens and the main points of interest. When a visitor points the Audiopen towards an encoded zone (picture) it will immediately launch an audio commentary.

The Result

Visitors are highly autonomous. The language selection for instance, is so easy that it may be done directly by the public. They simply need to point the pen towards the appropriate flag represented on the map. Visitor are then free to explore the Castle grounds at their own pace. They walk around and unblock captivating audio contents with the Audiopen as soon as they come across a point of interest pictured on the map. It’s almost like a treasure hunt!