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Your phone, your audioguide

Museums are now moving to a model where instead of handing you a gadget for an audioguide, you either download an app or aim your own phone at a QR code. Your phone is now your audioguide.

I wasn't expecting this so I didn't have any earbuds with me. Also another reason to make sure your phone is always fully charged.

Posted by
14291 posts

Absolutely. Been around in some museums since before Covid.

It's a good idea to check the museum/church websites for this ahead of time when you are looking to see if you need timed entries. Then you can download the app on your home wifi. It's much easier to do this to me then you don't have to touch the museum audio guides.

Are earbuds on your packing list now? I have an old pair that just lives in the cube I use for chargers. Actually, I have 2, I added an old one with the old round plug so it I do have to use a museum device I can use my own ear buds with it.

editing to add: In Colmar, their DIY walking tour has a brochure from the Visitor Center but each stop has a signboard with a QR code for more information and instructions on how to get to the next stop. This is when I realized I needed data when I was out and around.

Posted by
4951 posts

Also another reason to make sure your phone is always fully charged.

And carry around my portable charger so that I can still navigate home from wherever I ran my battery down.

Posted by
724 posts

For anyone wanting more knowledge about QR codes, this article might be useful-- https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/what-is-a-qr-code-how-to-scan
It is from the perspective of a private international cybersecurity company,

Also just be aware that QR codes can be used maliciously. QR code as part of museum copy on an exhibit case doesn't concern me, but I'm wary of QR codes in the wild or a random code printed on a sheet of paper and taped over another.

Attackers can embed malicious URLs containing custom malware into a QR code which could then exfiltrate data from a mobile device when scanned. It is also possible to embed a malicious URL into a QR code that directs to a phishing site, where unsuspecting users could disclose personal or financial information.

Because humans cannot read QR codes, it is easy for attackers to alter a QR code to point to an alternative resource without being detected. While many people are aware that QR codes can open a URL, they can be less aware of the other actions that QR codes can initiate on a user’s device. Aside from opening a website, these actions can include adding contacts or composing emails. This element of surprise can make QR code security threats especially problematic.

A typical attack involves placing malicious QR codes in public, sometimes covering up legitimate QR codes. Unsuspecting users who scan the code are taken to a malicious web page which could host an exploit kit, leading to device compromise or a spoofed login page to steal user credentials. Some websites do drive-by downloads, so simply visiting the site can initiate a malicious software download.

Mobile devices, in general, tend to be less secure than computers or laptops. Since QR codes are used on mobile devices, this increases the potential risks.

Posted by
22 posts

I haven't traveled in a long time, so I haven't got the chance to experience this new QR code and audio guide. Do you have control on which language you want to use?

Posted by
27451 posts

In general, there are multiple choices of language and English is available.