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this is an idea for a service which consists of a catalogued database of audio descriptions of places, objects etc. you may encounter as a tourist or visitor in a strange city.
you could access this database with your cell phone. so if you were walking down michigan avenue in chicago, past the
art institute, you could dial a number, enter the code for the art institute (located on a little plaque affixed nearby) and hear a tour guide type description of the place, press an option for hours, ticket prices etc.
would be a central organization that assigned the codes, multiple languages etc. would be made available.
(?) Handheld History
Information on London sights and guided tours via text message and mobile phone [hazel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]
(?) Wired: "Cell Phones Work as Tour Guides"
Baked in New York and Hong Kong [krelnik, Dec 14 2004]
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||Sponsored by cell phone companies, no doubt. I really like that it could provide audio descriptions for the visually impaired. (With appropriate braille signage in place, of course).
||Could it, in addition to having the standard catalog entries, have more up-to-date message capability for explaining the current festivities that one might encounter?
||We've done lots of variations on this concept before, but (with [half]'s contributions) I think this is one of the more commercially viable and socially worthwhile. The concept is not undifferentiated from any of the "Talking House" realty ideas already accessible on radio. What's different here is that it's by cell phone, and that [half] has suggested the use of a third party "sponsor" who may not have any implicit material interest in the particular site, but participates as a sort of institutional advertising and civic benefit.
||Saw this exact service on BBC News this morning as it's being introduced in London - see [link]
||thanks [hazel] for the link. i guess it's only a short time until widely-known-to-exist. well, back to the old drawing board...