If you find it boring wandering around landmarks and tourist attractions, why not liven the experience up with a mobile application as a guide?
HP Labs today launched a mobile software suite and associated website, Mscape. You can use the site to design and share interactive location-based experiences and games with friends and family all over the world.
The Mscape technology overlays the physical world with digital sights, sounds and textures to create interactive experiences termed 'mediascapes'.
The mediascapes are created using a simple web-based authoring tool on any GPS-enabled mobile handset. When you walk pass the locations in the physical world, the mediascape will activate digital media such as images, text, sounds, audio and video. The triggers can be set to react to physical stimuli such as location, proximity, time and movement.
"Blending online information with gaming, storytelling and the outdoors, mediascapes can offer people of all ages a new way to experience their surroundings," an HP spokesperson said.
Once you have created your own mediascape it can be published on the Mscape website so that other users can try it too.
Applications already featured on the Mscape website include an interactive game based at the Tower Of London , and tourist information for Yosemite National Park in the US. These can be downloaded from the website, along with other ready-made games and tours.
"The Mscape website puts HP Labs technologies in the hands of consumers, gamers and professional designers so they can imagine what's possible and create it," said Phil McKinney, vice president of HP's personal systems group, at the HP Mobility summit in Shanghai today.
The Mscape authoring tool is available for download for PCs and GPS-enabled mobile devices. So far Mscape had been downloaded some 1,500 times, HP said.