The Living Computer Museum

The Living Computer Museum

Improving engagement at one-tenth the cost of a custom kiosk solution

Seattle, WA – Located in an industrial neighborhood south of Seattle’s downtown,  Living Computers: Museum and Labs offers visitors a unique, hands-on experience with computer history.  From 50 year-old mainframes to the latest robots or VR gear, Living Computers provides a genuine interactive opportunity for visitors. “We’re a petting zoo for geeks,” says Curator Aaron Alcorn. In the coming months, the museum plans to offer programming classes and other tech-orientated workshops.

Living Computers—which opened in 2012—just completed a new gallery, with exhibits on current and emerging computer technologies designed to complement the original focus on vintage computers. “The new space is about what’s new, now, and next,” notes Operations Manager Rob Schmuck.

In order to create an engaging visitor experience, Alcorn and Schmuck faced the challenge of adding interactive touchpoints that were fully secure, comfortable to use, and upgradable, while fitting within the museum’s carefully-designed aesthetic for the remodeled 1930s industrial warehouse.

Matching the aesthetic while adding room to grow

In order to install vibrant, colorful displays that fit their aesthetic, Alcorn and Schmuck considered various suppliers for the Living Computer museum, including designing a fully custom option.

“We were looking at either a custom built option or using Armodilo,” Schmuck said, “the value was there with Armodilo, [including] the fact that we can customize, and that we can get new parts and corner inserts and reuse the cases once certain tablets are no longer manufactured made it a no brainer. And it would have been probably 10 times more expensive with custom options.” 

To make the situation more complex, Alcorn and Schmuck envisioned a variety of uses for their digital touchpoint deployments. In addition to Spheres being used throughout the museum playing videos to highlight future exhibits and product displays and Floor kiosks explaining what is happening in a given space, Armodilo Spot portable tablet enclosures are used for the interactive game maker tutorial spaces.

Overall, Alcorn and Schmuck ordered 17 Armodilo tablet enclosures. “The Armodilo cases help the supporting cast and the star of the show in each area. It was nice to be able to find a product that was secure, and that didn’t detract from the experience,” they said, adding that they were impressed by how enclosures were secure, inviting, and friendly, saying “It doesn’t have cables and all of this stuff that screams, ‘We don’t trust you!’ and I think it really sets them apart.”

Reducing barriers on a tight timeline

When their Armodilo enclosures finally came in, Alcorn and Schmuck were even more impressed with how quickly they were up and running. “It was a race to the finish line for us to get set up. The Armodilo products arrived and in two hours we had 16 or 17 cases deployed and ready to go,” Schmuck said. “It took longer to run updates on the tablets themselves than to get them set up in Armodilo,” Alcorn added. The two were impressed with how well Armodilo helped them increase engagement and reduce barriers to interactivity throughout the museum.

Armodilo is proud to be a part of this exciting and growing exhibition of the history and future of computing. To learn more about the exhibits and programs on offer, visit

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