The idea of wandering around a city listening to an audio tour does not excite me. Until now. iDotto is an intriguing app for the future of travel guiding. It is an audio guide that “accompanies” its users around a city and gives them a personalised guided tour.
With a guide book, you usually have to follow a set route, or turn to a particular page. With IDotto, you download, whack in your headphones, walk where you want to and listen.”iDotto doesn’t give you orders, or impose an itinerary. It goes with you and tells you about what you are looking at. After all, it has a lot to tell you: it doesn’t just talk about great monuments but about little alleys, ateliers, films, music, restaurants and typical recipes too”.
The tours are fully customisable to your interests and up to date. In addition, IDotto are learning all the time from their users: “A real travel companion knows you, and tells you about what you are interested in. iDotto is also able to adapt to your taste! When you start the app, state your preferences; when you hear a story that you like, tell iDotto: it’ll take note of this and choose the content which best suits you.” They note which entries are listened to, which are repeated and which are skipped. This means new content can be uploaded that is more relevant to users.
The bad news is that it’s currently only available for Rome with over 25 hours of audio information covering four square kilometres of the city. There are plans to expand to other cities soon. The app is also not available for Android and drains an Iphone battery in just four hours.