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Hallie Mavis
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In an innovative move, a private company in Shiraz, Fars Province, has designed an application that enables tourists to visit Iran's attractions on one's own, as it offers a complete overview of the places in English on smartphones.

 

"Iran Audio Guide" has been designed by Shiraz Durandish Programmers Company for both Android and iOS operating systems and is downloadable at App Store and Google Play free of charge. The first version of the app was launched in April 2017.

 

Users can download audio tracks of each listed attraction and listen to accurate and comprehensive details about the place. The audios are also available in Persian for domestic tourists.

 

The first two tracks of each category are free but a complete package is available for purchase on Iranaudioguide.com at 300,000 rials ($7.8) in English and 10,000 ($2.6) in Persian, payable through Shetab and Web Money payment portals.

 

Soroush Ansari, chief technology officer of the company, told Financial Tribune that a few shops have been set up in Shiraz where packages can be bought at a discount.

 

The tracks can be paused, rewound and fast-forwarded, which gives it an advantage over human guides, as the tourist can visit the site at one's own pace and take as much time as one needs to capture photos without worrying about missing the explanations.  

 

So far, the tracks have been prepared for a limited number of places, including a complete package of Persepolis world heritage site, attractions of Shiraz and Isfahan as well as the description of Iranian traditional architecture.

 

However, Ansari said the company is working to expand the tracks to include all attractions of the country.

 

"Yazd, Tehran, and Tabriz are our top priorities," he said, adding that the process would take time as they insist on delivering precise information and facts. The contents of the tracks include step-by-step guides through the attractions, stories of wars, victories, and invasions, information about kings and prominent figures, famous Persian myths, love stories and techniques of Iranian architecture, as well as gossips and scandals.

 

It also shows the attraction's location on a Google map to facilitate access.

 

A number of tourism applications are currently available on web stores. However, Iran Audio Guide is among the front-runners in designing audio applications in English.