Marine Institute of Ireland

Science Communications, Visitor Attractions

The agency tasked with safeguarding Ireland's marine environment looked to Pufferfish to put marine conservation issues front and centre with their audience.


Science Communications specialist Susan Heaney of Blue Inspiration was tasked by the Marine Institute of Ireland to create an engaging interactive temporary exhibition to showcase their work and achievements. A project that involved a quick turnaround for a temporary exhibition at SeaFest 2016 on Galway's docklands, the brief also required a solution for a permanent installation within the National University of Ireland's Zoology and Marine Biology Museum.

Susan’s goal was to identify a technology that would both deliver a “wow factor” and provide an intuitive understanding of the importance and scope of modern oceanography. With tactile engagement a key focus for marine science educators, it was imperative that the installation would attract children and adults alike and deliver a hands-on learning experience about the importance of marine preservation.


Pufferfish were delighted to be involved, particularly on a project with such noble aims and after quickly considering the interplay of timelines, exhibition spaces and lighting environments, we had a clear contender for a display that could serve both applications - a high definition PufferTouch system with Pufferfish’s unique on-sphere touch interface, paired with a 900mm screen

This system offered the ideal balance of scale and presence, with the visual clarity to do justice to the powerful content. An element of magic was added through the use of the on-sphere touch interface, drawing the audience in and helping them to engage with the content. In addition to the core system, Pufferfish also supplied a secondary interactive touch screen to be used with the PufferTouch in conjunction with our core PufferPlay and Play+ software.

The additional screen afforded the organisers the flexibility to manage the flow of the audience to the PufferTouch or allow people to approach the display for the on-sphere touch experience.

Summary of outcomes

With a team expert in the art of meeting demanding turnaround times for our clients, Pufferfish delivered an appealing solution to SeaFest suitable for use in the temporary visitor structure.  Digital content was comprised of the 'Oceans' chapter of our Earth Journey content suite. This allowed visitors to select from a series of ocean-related topics and see easily-digestible data visualisations on the PufferTouch, coupled with stunning visual content, legends and explanatory text on the separate interactive screen.

Taking delivery of their permanent unit, the Marine Institute availed of additional training from the Pufferfish team at their site in Galway, to facilitate their team getting the most out of their PufferSphere unit both in-house and on-tour.

Our client said

"The team were incredibly easy to deal with. They answered all of my technical and non-technical questions, managed my expectations, and delivered the key piece of our exhibition within a very tight timeframe with ultimate professionalism.

My client was so impressed with the product and the service received from the Pufferfish team that they are considering purchasing a second system. I could not recommend them highly enough!" - Susan Heaney, Blue Inspiration

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