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Graceland

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Elvis Presley died 37 years ago yesterday. And the event resonates to this day at his Graceland home in Memphis, Tenn., where an annual week celebrating his passing is just wrapping up.

Among the new offerings this year? An Apple iPad tour, in which “Graceland will be the first major historic home tour in the United States to provide an iPad to every guest on tour, creating a fully immersive experience within the Graceland mansion and grounds.”

Let’s be clear, Graceland has not lagged behind┬áthe times, digitally speaking. There is already a live-cam of the place (here) and innumerable audio tours you can get for your smartphone (here).

Still, it may seem a little odd to have people staring at a digital device while enjoying the decor of his fantastic Jungle Room (I’m a very big fan and have been there several times — who knew?).

Perhaps it’s just a bow to the inevitable. Tours using smartphones and tablets are increasing, such as a very different effort by Groupon founder and former CEO Andrew Mason to give users a quirky locational experience.

Featuring audio narration by John Stamos (who is also apparently a fan), the Graceland iPad tour allows users to access archival audio, video and photos locationally and also “favorite” parts of the house the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll bought in 1957 for $102,500 when he was just 22 years old. Tours are offered in different languages, and there’s one specifically designed for kids.

According to Graceland officials: “Elvis was known to be an early adopter of new technology — actually the very first adopter of many new technologies that he brought to Graceland, so it makes sense that we would continue that legacy with the latest technology for our tour experience.”

Don’t be cruel to geeks? Like me tender? Jailhouse hack?

(Forgive me, but it’s Sunday and the tech news is very thin.)



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