By David Stewart White
Visitors to the Louvre in Paris are using the museum's latest portable audio-visual guide—the Nintendo 3DS. The new unit goes a step further than the typical museum audio guide; adding maps, 3D images, and animation.
According to Louvre officials, the new device "offers over 700 commentaries about the artworks, providing a fresh perspective on the Louvre’s collections and the story behind the building itself." Visitors using the Nintendo units can tailor content to their own tastes. The device "really brings the artwork to life, thanks to commentaries by the museum’s curators and lecturers" claims the Louvre.
The museum is charging 5 euros to rent the device; the old-style audio-only guides rented for 6 euros. The Louvre is phasing in 5,000 Nintendo 3DS units.
Visitors staring at the handheld device may need to be reminded to look up from the virtual to see the real artwork displayed in the museum.