SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Just in time for the Super Bowl, a new audio app has launched for tourists exploring Scottsdale and Phoenix.
The app, called Listen Up, acts like a virtual tour guide. A Scottsdale couple, Igor and Irina Ilyinsky, created the app, and they worked on it for about two years before launching it earlier in January 2023.
The app, true to its name, allows people to "listen up" about the histories and stories of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Flagstaff. The app also works at Scottsdale's Museum of the West.
"You'll be able to walk inside the building. You'll be able to hear stories about each one of the exhibits. You'll walk into a room, and it'll describe what's in that room, and then you'll walk outside and continue to hear the experience about maybe what the street is," said Igor. "The experience continues on as long as you listen."
Igor and Irina say they came up with the idea for the app, after using it on their own vacation.
"I can't travel without it anymore, so [we] kind of said we got to bring it out to everyone else," said Irina.
The app uses artificial intelligence, and can be translated into 25 different languages.
"The stories are created from the Internet, where we scrape the internet, the web, Wikipedia, blog posts, video, you name it," said Irina. "Then, we actually transcribe all that info in texts. From texts, our artificial intelligence makes the stories even better, and then, we translate it into speech."
The app is also community driven, so users can add their own stories.
"Anybody that has a fun story about a neighborhood or an area," said Irina. "That is one of the things we are truly striving for, is getting these stories from people into other people's ears."
Igor and Irina have plans for the app to reach even more ears, with the Super Bowl and the WM Phoenix Open just around the corner.
"It's really the type of place that we felt there are going to be a lot of people coming. Specifically for the Super Bowl, they're coming from all over the world and all of the countries, and we want to give them the best experience possible before we do it everywhere in the world," said Igor.
The app is free for iPhone users.
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