Babbling Beasts

Workshop: Create your own cuddly Audio-Tour Guide a.k.a. Babbling Beasts

Go on a tour of your local museum taking along your own friendly, cuddly tour guide. Along this amusing tour your guide will let you in on hidden secrets of the objects and the space.

Be sure to check out the ‘Advanced Ideas’ sections!

Inside each cuddly toy is an NFC enabled smart phone. Attendees to the workshop record their own short narrative pieces and have the creatures respond as they walk around the space. It’s possible to even have the creatures hold a conversation with a museum object.

An ideal session length is ~2 hours. Currently have hardware to run sessions for up to 5 simultaneous groups with each group having 3 or 4 people. (Probably a maximum of 15 people per workshop)

Each group shares in the tasks of:

  • writing the script
  • recording sounds / narrative
  • triggering these sounds automatically on the phone
  • placing the NFC tags around the public space (white-tack)
  • designing / building a new creature (potentially a separate workshop)


This is very much an exercise in story creation than technology. The technology is the enabler and helps to illustrate how quickly you can make something that appears intelligent with little expertise.

For shorter sessions: the NFC tags can be pre-installed around the space and each group can be given a character (and guidelines) that they are working from.

For more advanced groups: the story can be potentially a ‘Choose-your-own-adventure’ experience where the user decides where to branch the story.


Note: The technology (clever-part) is pre-installed on the phone. WiFi or laptops are not needed to run the session as all the recording and NFC tag configuration is performed on the phone.

  1. Before you begin you will need to source NFC enabled phone, NFC tags and set-up some android applications. This is all explained in the Setup Guide.

  2. Once you’re all set-up, you can begin the Content creation. You can do most of this away from the technology. A guide to planning out your objects and story is covered here: Creating the Content

  3. Once you’ve got the story planned out you begin to create your digital application, recording the narration, setting up the NFC tags and installing them in your venue. This is all covered in the Technical Development Guide.

If you need some more help or ideas then head to the ‘Advanced Ideas’ sections!