Sunday, March 23, 2008

Voices in Our Ears

While I was visiting museums in the Philadelphia area today, it was obvious to see how mobile devices are offering possibilities for augmented reality experiences in which visitors provide the media players rather than rely on electronic guided tours that emanate from rented units. The National Constitution Center now offers iPod tours of many of its exhibits, and the super-creepy Mütter Museum, which is full of medical curiosities, allows visits to get information about particular numbered displays via a cell phone call to 215-525-1671. (The morbidly curious can also take a virtual tour of the Mütter as well.) What does it mean for museums to out-source instructional technologies to the equipment of visitors?

Update: Note this sign at Valley Forge for another example of this phenomenon.

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