Groupon founder Andrew Mason guides Casey Newton of Verge through the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art using the latest version of Detour, a location-based outdoor audio tour app that now works indoors as well. Through your smartphone, Detour knows your location in the museum and presents the artworks in that specific gallery along with the associated audio recordings so you can wander (giving you the right information in the right place), as well as 15-30 minute “walks”. Parts of this Verge video are silly and the background music too loud, but it looks like smartphone technology now has the capability to be used at historic sites for self-guided tours of the buildings, landscape, and neighborhood in a way that’s more flexible and responsive to visitor interests.
The video below is a better explanation of Detour’s ability to “automatically guide you as you walk, almost like you’re there with a real person”. It debuted last year with ten Detours of San Francisco (including architecture) at $4.99.