The SFMOMA’s New App Will Forever Change How You Enjoy Museums | WIRED

This new app is courtesy of a collaboration with Detour, the company begun by Andrew Mason (who started Groupon).

Detour is an app for walking about that came to Mason as he was on a walkabout of his own after his ouster from Groupon. This early TechCrunch article gives good background for its roots, and its ambitions. 

Detour--and the work they've done in collaboration with SFMOMA--is innovative because it uses current technology (the sensors and antennae already in your commodified phone) to provide a novel experience. It creates a multi-sensory experience beyond the touch and sight we use to mindlessly thumb down Twitter, Facebook, or what have you. Instead, by knowing where you are in space through geolocation, it plays audio that engages your entire body, directing your attention hither and yon. And by the very nature of the content, you are engaged in a more contemplative frame of mind. 

This is the vague promise of AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality): to return us to a more "natural" state of being without the fully-consumed-by-the-light-of-the-screen absorption we have with our phones, tablets, and computers. The promise is always that new technology will save us from the effects of our current/"old" technology. Detour proves that that promise is untrue. We can manufacture those very experiences with what we have right now. It just takes discipline.