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Automated Tour Guide: Orpheo NEO Visitor Digital Assistant

If you’ve ever been to a major tourist attraction, there’s a good chance that they presented you with an opportunity to rent an “audio tour.” This would usually consist of little more than a tape and a set of headphones that would help guide you through the maze of a museum. Well, the whole idea of an audio tour is finally stepping into the 21st century with the introduction of the Orpheo NEO Visitor Digital Assistant. This is much more than a book on tape.

Instead, you get a handheld PDA-like device that sports a large touchscreen for ease of use, “high quality” sound, and even more techie features like GPS and an IR receiver. To be used at museums, zoos, theme parks, and larger national parks, the Orpheo NEO — sold by Orpheo USA, a subsidiary of Ophrys Systems — is supposed to “revolutionize all cultural visits with its technical and aesthetic features.” And because it’s wrapped in rubber and the loudspeakers contain a special aperture, the NEO is well suited for outdoor sites too.

No word on pricing or availability, but it’s not something you’d be buying directly anyways.

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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