Will Smartphones Replace Tour Guides?

Recently, Smartphones have become exceedingly popular for use as navigation devices, and may soon replace traditional standalone GPS navigation units altogether. By having an accurate GPS inside of a Smartphone, in addition to the myriad of other functions, most users don’t see the need to pay money for an extra navigation device. Some companies are tapping into this potential, which may render tour guides irrelevant in the near future.

With Smartphone apps using the phone’s built-in GPS service to find businesses and nearby points of interest, the people at HawaiiGaga.com decided to create their own version of a location-based Smartphone app. But instead of just telling people about nearby businesses and a few cool places to visit, the app becomes a virtual tour guide for Hawaii’s Kauai island that talks to users wherever they go and gives them real-time information as though they had a personal tour guide.

The virtual tour guide comes preloaded with over 200 points of interest and fun activities, all programmed in by the locals who know the area best. The app also offers users real-time forecasts for the weather and surfing conditions, along with some comprehensive beach and snorkeling guides.

The technology that makes this app possible is nothing new, and is already being used by many other Smartphone apps; but this application is especially innovative. By being able to get all of the tour guide information from their phones, travelers can enjoy their trip more by being able to explore everything on their own time instead of having to follow a tour guide’s preset schedule. Travelers will also get the personal tour guide experience at a fraction of the cost of a real tour guide.

If you are planning on going traveling any time soon, make sure to do some research on virtual tour guides first and see if it available in the area you plan on visiting.

(Via Hawaii Gaga) / (Image by William Hook, licensed under Creative Commons)

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