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The Louvre Museum in Paris , one of the biggest and most visited art museums in the world , was recently in need of an update to its digital guide system last week. They ended up following a similar path to the eateries using the iPad as for menus by using the Nintendo 3DS for that purpose. Smartphone apps may be all the rage now, but the console offers a number of things that smartphone can't compete with.

The dual screens allow the user to multitask, for example by having a map of the museum on the touchscreen and a preview of the exhibit on the 3D screen. Touch controls allow for intuitive input that doesn't require memorizing button commands. For navigational purposes, a number of beacons have been installed throughout the museum, which work with the console the same way a GPS does. The 3DSes cost $6.50 to rent until the battery runs out.

Using a device designed for something totally different is definitely a nice example of thinking outside the box. A great next step would be augmented reality. Imagine looking at an exhibit through something like Google Glass and having all the facts about it appear right before your eyes.

By Denis Ivanov

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