The Digital Guide for Mobile Access is a service for accessing multimedia information about people, artifacts, and places from Eternal Egypt anywhere in the world via data-capable mobile phones and networked devices. All information is provided in three languages, English, French, and Arabic, and is supplemented by images specifically reformatted for small screens. High-end devices can receive audio narration to accompany the text and images. In addition, location-relevant tours allow phone users to be guided around the Giza Plateau, Luxor Temple, and the Egyptian Museum. Items of particular interest can be noted and accessed via the Eternal Egypt website or added from the website for later perusal by phone.
The Digital Guide for Mobile Access is available at dg.eternalegypt.org.
The service is available on any mobile phone or network-connected mobile device (such as a PDA or tablet computer) that supports HTML over GPRS or WML over WAP connections. Eternal Egypt images and information are adaptively formatted to fit the screen size and functional capabilities of the particular device that accesses it. Owners of data-capable phones access the Digital Guide by entering the site address via the phone input pad.
After selecting a language, the phone user can select to explore sites and museums, find items by numbered labels, browse by topics in Egyptian culture, or search the collection of information. A flexible content structure enables casual reading or deep study. Location maps for Giza and Luxor provide an overview of the places to be explored. Capable devices are also delivered images and audio narration. The audio, generated by IBM® Text-to-Speech technology, permits visitors to these locations to remain engaged with the visual beauty of the sites while offering the ability to dive more deeply into the site content, if so desired.
The My Collection functionality allows phone users to bookmark artifacts and places of interest during their tours for later review on the Eternal Egypt website. The enhanced functionality of the website permits an even greater after-the-fact contextualization and allows users to stay focused on the experience of the historical sites. Conversely, artifacts and places can be added to a visitor's My Collection from the website for later retrieval on the mobile device, effectively pre-creating a customized tour for access at the historical site.