Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nashville | A tourism guide meets 'Minority Report'

Nashville Tennessean Managing Editor Meg Downey has scheduled a staff meeting for tomorrow on using so-called augmented reality, according to a memo cited today by Nashville Scene. A Gannett Blogger also forwarded the memo to me.

"This technology," Downey says in the memo, "allows digital content to be placed over images you see in the real world on a smartphone camera. It basically lets you annotate your environment. Importantly, it can directly link print to digital and connect everything to social media."

At its more far-out, reporters could be equipped with wearable augmented reality glasses now being developed by Google.

The memo says: "Think about walking into a public meeting and being able to see who is on the board, their bio, how they voted the last time, the agenda, what issues will be discussed, an explanation of the issues, the ability to interact with others in the room."

A more immediate use, however, will fall short of the world envisioned in futuristic sci-fi film Minority Report: "An insider’s guide to Nashville past and present."

On the agenda for tomorrow's meeting, these would be tourism information/neighborhood guides, according to the memo: "Chart the significant places to see and show what makes them special. Highlight historic moments (the location of the club where Etta James first played). Use our experts on staff to create these music, food, historic trails. Connect to basic information (open/close times, directions, menus, type of food, who’s playing there, maps, ala Yelp) but add video, chef Q&As, music bios, social media advice, advice from celebrities, if you like this/you’ll like that components." 


  1. Interesting concept. See scifi/futurist writer William Gibson for more on this. Wonder if it'll catch on or go the way of VR glasses? And while Nashville gets a thumbs up for thinking about the future, it seems a poor use of resources when the immediate goal is to drive Web traffic and fill the (admittedly thin) papers every day.

  2. Augmented reality for sure. Not many journalists left.

  3. Nashville should first focus on providing better content for readers. Paper and Website are sleepers.

  4. What do you suggest, 10:44? The world awaits your prime suggestions.


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