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?
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.