Wander down to the real Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Learn about the hidden history of the city’s iconic Painted Ladies. Discover the old haunts of Kerouac and Ginsberg. That’s the experience offered by Detour, a location-aware audio tour app created by ex-Groupon CEO Andrew Mason.
Detour uses your phone’s GPS, as well as iBeacons, to pinpoint your location, so it will always have something interesting to share based on precisely where you are at the moment. The website emphasizes the ability to enjoy a tour on precisely your own terms, without being weighed down by a tour group or an agenda to see 50 sights in three hours. But the app is also aiming to be social, allowing for groups of friends to sync up their audio to share the same revelations at the same time.
Museums around the world, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Picasso Museum in Paris, have started offering their own curated tours via smartphone apps. Detour extends this trend outside of the museum and into the everyday urban life that surrounds us.
Detour hit the iOS App Store today, and an Android version is expected in the near future. “Detours” range in length from one to two hours. Individual detours can be purchased for $4.99 or you can subscribe for unlimited access for $19.99 a month.