Guide-ID helps to unlock stories, by giving objects and space a voice, helping people to listen and expand their knowledge. Guide-ID has created the world’s easiest audio guide, to enable people to discover the bigger context that lies beyond the visual world, without limiting technologies or unnecessary distractions.
The Podcatcher, the world’s easiest audio guide.
The start of Guide-ID’s story came in the Netherlands, when its founder, Frits Polman, decided to change how visitors experience museums. His ambition was to open visitors’ minds and ensure that all visitors leave the museum with their senses enhanced. Guide-ID believes in the eagerness to learn and to be curious. Therefore we create technology that helps museums to tell their story without distracting visitors from the message. This technology relies on the simplicity and size of the Podcatcher, where the visitor only needs to point at the museum piece and listen to the story behind it.
The CEO of Guide-ID explains how it all began.
It all started in 1986 when I was thirteen years old, and I got my first computer. It wasn’t the commodore 64 which all my friends had, but a Sharp MZ-800 for which almost no software existed, so I started making it myself. That’s what I call magic: making something from nothing.
My passion for technology was born – this is how I wanted to earn my livelihood.
I studied computer technology and then business economics. After graduating, I started a company together with a fellow student.
Little by little, the company became involved in the world of museums. One day, a curator showed me around, and her stories brought the paintings and objects to life. People are naturally curious and driven by stories. But why would you only tell those stories live?
This was the start of a new adventure: developing software and hardware that makes it seem as if the curator is standing right next to you.
I made an initial version on a predecessor of the iPhone, the PDA. It was soon replaced by a new design, the Podcatcher – the world’s easiest audio guide.
The Podcatcher made it possible to look at art better, without distractions – without a screen. Guide-ID is now used across the globe, with over 380 million stories shared. These stories open up visitors’ minds so that they leave the exhibition feeling truly inspired. That’s what motivates me.
Everyone loves a good story? Especially those told by artists, history or mother nature. They deserve to be heard, enjoyed and learned from without any distractions. That’s exactly why we offer audio-only guides, to make sure all eyes are on the object, all ears are on the story.
Simplicity is key
‘Keeping it simple’ is the key principle on which we build our easy audio tour technology, straightforward services and honest communication. Why overcomplicate things, when keeping it simple brings the most joy — and the least amount of headaches?
Let’s have fun together!
We are not just any audio guide company. We like to keep it personal. Whether it’s with our colleagues, clients or other partners, we’re in it as friends. That means listening to each other, helping out wherever we can and making the occasional silly joke.