Orchid VMS Virtual Experience Tour Aboard the Battleship Wisconsin
The city of Norfolk and the Nauticus Foundation will officially launch the Ship Experience Access Room aboard the Battleship Wisconsin with a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 7, 2018. The ceremony will be hosted by Nauticus and IPConfigure, a global video surveillance software company headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia that donated the surveillance system equipment, software and labor needed for the project with their partners, including Axis Communications and ScanSource Security.

The Ship Experience Access Room was developed for visitors that want to experience the Battleship Wisconsin, but are unable to physically take the tour. Built in the former Administrative Office of the Wisconsin, the Ship Experience Access Room creates a virtual tour of the ship through the use of video surveillance equipment.

Designed to mimic a control center, the room is equipped with four, high resolution monitors with individual access to IPConfigure's video surveillance management software, Orchid Fusion. Visitors are able to sit at a station and create their own tour of the Wisconsin as they navigate through the software.

"With 20 cameras online, IPConfigure has opened up almost 10,000 sq. ft of space to about 20 percent of visitors that simply can't navigate ladder stairs down three decks and back up", said Clayton Allen, Battleship operations manager.

The project kicked off in 2017 when IPConfigure invited partners throughout the surveillance industry to Norfolk to assist with the system installation. The team configured dozens of cameras, switches, servers, monitors and pulled over 10,000 feet of network cables. They set up all the equipment to work seamlessly with IPConfigure's Orchid Fusion video management software

"This project gave IPConfigure an opportunity to contribute to the USS Wisconsin in an unconventional way. 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," said Christopher Uiterwyk, president and CEO of IPConfigure.

A soft opening of the new exhibit was held during the Battleship Wisconsin Reunion in September 2018. IPConfigure staffed the Experience Room and had the opportunity to sit with veterans that were unable to tour the ship. As the veterans navigated through the software and accessed the live cameras, they were able to share stories of their time in the Navy and on the Wisconsin.

With the official opening to the public, the Ship Experience Access Room is able to honor the history and preservation of the Battlefield Wisconsin, and enable more visitors to experience one of the last battleships built by the U.S. Navy.

"It is wonderful to be able to bring all generations on board to view the working and living spaces of a Navy sailor," said Dustin Uhl, senior exhibit manager of the Nauticus Foundation.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 8:30 a.m., on the Battleship Wisconsin located at One Waterside Drive in Downtown Norfolk.

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