Wednesday, 25 March 2015

13th Century Heritage Embraces State-of-the-Art Mobile Technology

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today (25.03.15), launched the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral app which allows visitors to access multimedia information on key features of the Cathedral through their mobile devices.

As visitors self-guide though the Cathedral’s interior, the app automatically illuminates key points of interest on their mobile devices, presenting them with a particularly engaging experience. This is made possible by the app’s use of iBeacon technology.

iBeacons are small transmitters, which have been installed at strategic locations within the Cathedral. Once downloaded, the iBeacon enabled app identifies the location of visitors and sends them information on points of interest as they approach each exhibit.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is the first fully iBeacon enabled visitor facility in Ireland, and the app has been especially developed for the Cathedral in a partnership with appybeacons.

Officiating at today’s launch, Minister Ring TD, said: “I am delighted to see that a heritage site of the importance of St Patrick’s Cathedral has taken the initiative of going digital, which will greatly enhance the visitors’ experience.  Authentic historical experiences attract visitors and provide them with memorable experiences – experiences which animate their holiday and which they will share later and promote to friends and family.  

“The development of a learning and interpretative space will, I understand, allow scope for visitors to engage with and learn about the Cathedral’s life and history. It will, when it is completed later this year, I am sure help to keep the Cathedral in the top ten of visitor attractions in the country. Heritage institutions like Saint Patrick’s Cathedral are vital to our culture and heritage and it is important that they continuously innovate to attract and engage visitors.  That is why the government through Fáilte Ireland continues to invest in these attractions and is indeed funding the redevelopment of the South Transept in the Cathedral into a new visitor interpretative and interactive area for visitors.”
 
Also speaking today, Dean Victor Stacey from St. Patrick’s Cathedral said: “We are always looking for new ways of bringing the Cathedral’s rich cultural heritage closer to our many visitors from around the world. Our partnership with appybeacons has enabled us to offer the most innovative visitor engagement platform available in the market today.

“Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is home to some of Ireland’s finest historical items and craftsmanship and the iBeacons technology allows visitors to access information in a way that is unobtrusive and respectful of the space.  In reality, this means that there is less need for information boards, stands and other information sources.  The app allows us to showcase the Cathedral to its fullest extent.”

Andrew Dunne, Director of appybeacons, added: “iBeacon technology is an absolute game changer, particularly in terms of unlocking the potential of the mobile powered visitor.

“It really is the next big thing and will fast become an essential element of the visitor engagement experience. It allows tourist attractions such as Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to engage with visitors in a way that was never possible before.”

The app works on most new smart phones and tablet PCs and is available to download for free. As the use of the app is reliant on a stable internet connection, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral offers free Wi-Fi to all its visitors.

For further information and download links to the app, visit: 
http://www.stpatrickscathedral.ie/App.aspx.