Edinburgh Up Close: Footsteps Through Time, the result of a collaboration between the City of Edinburgh Council and Leith-based Neatebox, is a new app that guides visitors and residents alike through the warren of closes connected to the famous Royal Mile to trace the history linked to these streets.
Initially available for Apple IOS devices, the app enables users to hear engaging stories about the numerous alleyways and learn about the surrounding buildings and their famous or infamous residents as they explore the area in a brand new way, without the need for Wifi.
Users will be alerted by a Bluetooth beacon when they reach a number of landmarks from history including the exact site of Deacon Brodie’s last burglary and his capture. As app users reach the spot, images depicting Brodie, his comrades and his life and his death will pop up on users’ phones while local award-winning storyteller Fiona Herbert tells the tale of Brodie’s burglar past.
Working with a professional Storyteller has given Up Close an opportunity to not only appeal to the sighted but also the visually impaired, and with the text from each story included as standard, the deaf or hard of hearing as well. Neatebox plans for future projects will also include British Sign Language videos and increased foreign language support. This is believed to be the first time such technology is being harnessed by a visitor attraction in the UK to provide an alternative to the traditional ‘audio guide’, and it can be used alone, or as a way extend the museum visitor experience outside.
The app is available to download for free from the Apple Store here.