Visiting the Battleship Wisconsin just became easier for those with limited mobility thanks to a new room that provides a virtual tour of the vessel.
The “Ship Experience Access Room,” or SEAR, was officially launched by the Nauticus Foundation and the city of Norfolk during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony aboard the museum battleship, which now serves as part of the maritime science center Nauticus.
In the SEAR, which was once the Wisconsin’s Administrative Office and is meant to feel like a control room, visitors can sit at their own station and use video surveillance software to take a virtual tour of the popular decommissioned battleship. The live feeds of the ins and outs of the ship are displayed on multiple high-resolution monitors.
Take a look at the SEAR in the Nauticus video below.
The Norfolk-based video surveillance software company IPConfigure, along with support from partners Axis Communications and ScanSource Security, donated the equipment, software, and labor to make the SEAR possible.
Battleship operations manager Clayton Allen says the virtual tour provides a major boost in ship access for guests who aren’t able to physically tour the Wisconsin. “With 20 cameras online, IPConfigure has opened up almost 10,000 square feet of space to about 20 percent of visitors that simply can’t navigate ladder stairs down three decks and back up”, he says.
During a soft opening in September, veterans who had served aboard the Wisconsin were able to try out the software.
Of the SEAR, IPConfigure president and CEO Christopher Uiterwyk says, “it provides a unique opportunity for curators to provide access to visitors who otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience this historic ship. We’re proud to give back to our local community, veterans, and visitors from around the world.”
To learn more about the Ship Experience Access Room, click here.
–Laura Adams Boycourt