The British Museum has launched new Google maps-based audio guides

British Museum guides visitors with Google Maps app

The British Museum has launched new audio guides based on Google Maps with an app-like interface to help visitors explore its collections.

A combination of a handheld device and headphones, the guides highlight some of the most famous artefacts housed in the museum and helps visitors find them.

Running on HTC smartphones, the guides offer eight themed self-guided tours and detailed breakdowns of the different collections and exhibitions, with text and audio available in 10 languages.

The app is equipped with an indoor mapping system which provides turn-by-turn directions from item to item.

"There is no doubt that audio guides are the flagship of this new experience,” said the museum's head of digital and publishing Chris Michaels.

"Audio guides have been an amazing part of the museum experience ever since the 1960s, when people used to walk around with eight-track recorders strapped around their necks."

The new guides have been created as part of a collaboration with Korean Air, with the airline having just renewed a partnership with the museum until 2020.

There will be also a family version of the guide available which includes an on-screen card game for children to play as they visit different parts of the museum.

This is in addition to a sign-language guide for those with hearing problems and an audio descriptive guide and separate touchpad for the partially sighted.

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