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Talking Statues uses Near Field Communication to enable curious passers-by to swipe their smart-phone over a statue’s signage, triggering a “call back” from the likes of Isaac Newton, Queen Victoria or Sherlock Holmes. A call back can also be initiated by the use of a QR code or by using a short URL that is displayed on the signage at each statue.

The Talking Statues project was developed in conjunction with the non-profit event production company Sing London and Antenna Lab to bring 35 statues to life using a dozen of Britain’s most recognizable celebrity voices.

“Talking Statues is all about using low cost technology to give people access to art, culture and technology in streets and parks,” said Jessica Taylor, Antenna Lab Director. Our hope is that museums – small and large – will benefit from this pioneering approach.”

The Talking Statues project will run for one year and will be closely monitored and analysed by Leicester School of Museum Studies, gauging whether the technology can lead people to visit surrounding galleries and museums. All findings will be made publicly available to museums and galleries.

In related news, Qualcomm’s iZat indoor geo-location technology offers location mapping on the LG G3 in 21 shopping malls, but so far it only works in South Korea, notes GigaOm. G3 owners can download an app on Google Play. iZAT combines GPS constellations, WiFi and a phone’s built-in sensors such as a gyroscope, accelerometer and compass to pinpoint your location, no matter where you are.

Apple’s iBeacon can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence, enabling a smart phone or other device to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon. iBeacon uses Bluetooth low energy proximity sensing to transmit a universally unique identifier picked up by a compatible app or operating system.

Devices running the Android operating system prior to version 4.4 can only receive iBeacon advertisements but cannot emit iBeacon advertisements.

Android L added support for both central and peripheral modes.

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