Detour is an app that uses audio tours to connect users with their cities’ history. Launched by former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, it blends technology with narration by expert local guides.
The app is available in most major US and international cities, and offers a selection of tours for sale individually or as a $25 package. Each tour includes video of the location and sample audio from the tour.
Using the best app design in the hospitality and travel industries, Detour offers high-quality imagery for each city. Iconic landmarks are used to exemplify specific locations, while photography and video pop against the white background. Light aquamarine accent color highlights call-to-action buttons.
A variety of stories are offered by local narrators with connections to the neighborhoods they cover, including Ken Burns on the Brooklyn Bridge and Jen Schuster on Southie in Boston. These audio tours are designed to connect users with their local communities on a personal level, and allow them to explore at their own pace.
In addition to geo-location functionality that tracks a user’s exact location as they walk, Detour also lets users stop the app at any time and resume where they left off at another point in the itinerary. This makes the experience more hands-free and less distracting than walking through a guided tour, which is more often than not a static, linear experience.
With a global audience, it’s crucial to provide an experience that people can access on their own terms. With this in mind, Detour partnered with Walking Cinema director Michael Epstein to expand its GPS-driven audio tours around the world. For eight months, Michael trained and directed a team of local producers in Rome to create 8 immersive walks.