Call from…Isaac Newton…hang up or accept?

Spearheaded by Antenna’s digital think tank and innovation hub, Antenna Lab, ‘Talking Statues’ is our exciting and highly innovative new project with arts producers Sing London.

‘Talking Statues’ brings 25 statues to life around London for a year and the technology utilises specially manufactured Near Field Communication (NFC) chips (as used in Transport for London’s Oystercard and wireless payment enabled bank cards).

These chips sit behind plaques attached to the statues, and allow passers-by to swipe their phones and automatically receive a call from late personalities such as Queen Victoria, Joan of Arc, Sherlock Holmes, and even Hodge the Cat!

Of course, not all phones are equipped with NFC readers, so in these cases a QR code can be scanned or a tiny URL typed into the phone.

With a stellar cast of famous actors and celebrities such as Dominic West, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Paxman, Hugh Dennis and Alan Johnson MP playing the voices of the statues, this is has been a very exciting project for Antenna to be part of.

The project received a huge amount of high profile publicity in major newspapers like The Observer and The Evening Standard, both in the UK and around the globe, including a number of TV and Radio spots – even being featured on the BBC.

Just goes to show how relatively low-cost technology can be used to create a brand new, immersive cultural experience!