What this has to do with mixed reality

What this has to do with mixed reality

period tour guide
period tour guide

After walking every day past dazed visitors, and costumed guides in Revolutionary War attire (above), it dawned on me: it’s tough being a tourist in Boston. 

Maybe new technology -- which promises to deliver more relevant, more immediate information after all -- could help this situation? Make it more interesting? More engaging?

Back at the dawn of the web, when I worked at O’Reilly Media, CEO Tim O’Reilly used to talk about “information pain.” Back then the pain was around building web sites, and navigating the internet.

Now I’m seeing a slightly different kind of information pain every day, whenever I step outside: visitors who don’t know what to do next, or what they should be doing. And what’s worth doing in Boston anyway?

Painful, informationally.

I decided to see if "mixed reality" -- a loose catch-all term to describe the intersection of augmented reality, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things -- could be pressed into the service of this challenge. I started up a companion site, Boston Detours, to generate some locations worth lavishing with the mixed reality treatment. 

BTW, here are two more costumed guides that I pointed my phone at. Unless I'm in a rush, I always stop to listen to them for a minute or two. 

The two phrases I hear most often: "Despite what you were taught in school..." and "What really happened..."

I also hear those phrases spilling from the Duck Boats that ply this neighborhood.

That's tourist take-away gold: the real story. 

A costumed tour guide in Boston
Costumed tour guide #1

 

Costumed Tour Guide
Costumed tour guide #3

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