History comes alive with a new platform that provides virtual artifacts, riddles and tour information via location-based stories through a smartphone app.
The classic audio guided tour is becoming less and less common. Tourists are relying more than ever on their smartphones to help them get around, from a digital guide of local hotspots with recommendations provided by Airbnb hosts for guests, to DIY museum tours with an integrated art-identifying app.
Nexto is a new cultural engagement platform based on the power of storytelling that brings a touch of virtual reality to the everyday tourism experience. The app uses a conversational interface, and visitors to Nexto-connected sites can collect virtual souvenirs, learn the history of each location through games and puzzles, and create their own stories. Nexto co-founder and chief product officer Tadej Strok says “We wanted to make heritage more exciting and accessible to the younger generation. Instead of Pokemon, people would collect virtual heritage artifacts and compete in exploring historic stories and learn something meaningful along the way.”
Available on both iOS and Android devices, tours can be downloaded for use at any time. Site managers as well as individuals are encouraged to get in touch to nominate new destinations to add to the platform. Nexto hopes to soon be available in cities like Paris, Prague, Rome and Barcelona. With smartphone technology revolutionising many business models, how might environmental sustainability projects bring their work to life for a wider audience using similar approaches?