AIXplorer: an audio guide that knows where you are
Engineering at its finest. Modern Aachen goes hand in hand with excellent research, something that the Route Charlemagne also benefits from. Prof. Dr. Jan Borchers and his team in the Media Computing Group at the RWTH Aachen University have developed the AIXplorer specifically for the Route Charlemagne, a highly innovative mobile multimedia city audio guide. Since 2009, the device has been guiding visitors around Aachen's Town Hall. In the Coronation Hall, visitors can even experience a coronation banquet from the 16th century first hand, thanks to CORONA, a 3D audio simulation that is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
In the "Centre Charlemagne – Neues Stadtmuseum Aachen", the next generation of AIXplorer is about to be launched. The device – there are 50 of them available for visitors to use – tells the stories of 35 key exhibits in the permanent exhibition, in an entertaining and easy-to-understand manner. In German, English, French and Dutch, with special versions for people with impaired hearing and vision. Here a new technology is being used: so-called Bluetooth Beacons, small transmitters distributed around the Centre Charlemagne thanks to which the AIXplorer automatically informs visitors – with voice and images – about the particular exhibit they are standing in front of. Tedious keying in of numbers, like we are used to from traditional audio guides, is now a thing of the past. This makes the Centre Charlemagne one of the first museums in the world where this technology is being used.