Audio tours–whether educational, entertaining or a combination thereof—are not a new concept. In fact, they’ve become somewhat of a staple in the museum world. And ever since location aware devices (in other words, cell phones…) became the norm, we’ve talked our friends’ ears off about the idea of creating engaging audio tours that people could listen to on their own phones. It could be a tourist guide while exploring a new city, or a fictional story to entertain yourself as you wander around your hometown. The opportunities are seemingly endless.
While museums and publishers continue to develop their own audio content and methods of serving up that audio for the public to experience, there has yet to be a viable platform available for individual content producers to use as a means of producing and publishing their own interactive audio tours.
Enter Detour, founded by former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason. The app launched in 2015 and includes audio tours of a handful of cities across the globe, including Chicago, Berlin, Paris and, of course, San Francisco.
This is big news. Not only does the Detour Platform allow you to create location-aware content (so that certain audio clips/behavior is triggered based on where the user is), the platform also provides some pretty groundbreaking content production tools. As you can see in the explainer video below, the platform uses voice recognition to sync your script with your audio. Cut and paste words from the script, and the audio is edited to match. (Functionally, that’s not going to sound good with every type of audio recording, but it’s a pretty amazing feature.) Drag-and-drop features also allow for quick placement of sound drops.
Currently, the Detour Platform is in private beta, though you can request access. And the fact that creators are able to sell their tours via the app/platform is all the more inspiration for people to give it a shot. This is a really cool opportunity for experimental content creators to do some cool stuff with location-aware audio, and we’re really excited to see how this develops.
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