Firm targets €40m audioguide market

A TOWN’S decision to position itself as a high-tech testing hub has helped an Irish firm target a global market worth €40 million.

High potential start-up In Hand Guides, backed by Enterprise Ireland, has spent the last few months testing new technology on the streets of Mallow, in north Cork, which will help it take its audioguides out of museums and on to the streets. IGH managing director, Trevor Winckworth, confirmed yesterday the trials have been a complete success.

“This technology advance will allow In Hand Guides target an audioguide market worth an estimated €40m at present and served by only a small number of companies,” he said.

US-based attorney and IHG Angel investor, Gerard Reinhardt, who was in Mallow to test the device, said it has truly global potential.

“It is a low-cost solution and is unique in the business space,” he said.

He also praised the partnership which allowed the tech-testing trials take place.

Mallow was chosen at the test-bed following its decision last September to position itself at the cutting edge of the smart economy as part of a collaboration between Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Mallow Development Partnership and local town council.

IHG’s I-Pod style audioguides are already used by visitors to the Book of Kells, Glasnevin Cemetery, Botanic Gardens and Kilkenny Castle, but the company wanted to use the device in a town or city setting.

The town council developed The Rebel Trail, a set of 10 historic sites, and IHG produced a radio-documentary style commentary for each of the 10 stops which is played through the device.

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