Audio tours are one of the most interesting ways to browse a museum. With headphones in ear, you can often learn much more about the work you’re browsing than you would by wandering around the museum and conducting your own research. It’s certainly more engaging. However, audio tours may be an endangered activity; museums across the world are looking for ways to improve the interactivity of their exhibits beyond simple headphones.
In Paris, for example, the Louvre has recently announced that it will be replacing its existing audio tours with 5,000 Nintendo 3DS devices
. The handhelds will contain special content developed by the Louvre with the help of Nintendo
, and will serve to help visitors find their way around the museum and interact with the works of art on display. The devices will also come packed with pre-built itineraries that allow users to explore works by theme and age group.
Apparently, only four percent of Louvre visitors take advantage of the current audio tour system – the museum hopes that offering more familiar and engaging technology will encourage patrons to jump deeper into the experience (and spend a bit more money).
It’s an interesting move, one other museums may mimic if it turns out to be effective. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Would you take a 3DS-guided tour through the Louvre?