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Hearst Castle Launches Reimagined Mobile App

  San Simeon, Calif.— Launching today on the App Store is Hearst Castle’s completely reimagined mobile app. The groundbreaking app features a breathtaking 3D map of the estate, support for iPads, and new content from Hearst Castle’s State Historian, Victoria Kastner.

The Hearst Castle App is also now available for Apple Watch. Gentle taps on your wrist will notify you that you’ve approached a point of interest and allow you to play audio tracks with paired headphones.

Hearst Castle staff collaborated with tech startup Guidekick, with roots in the Central Coast, with this major update to the Hearst Castle App. Working from legendary architect Julia Morgan’s original drawings, the 3D map allows visitors to manipulate and explore the stunning gardens and architecture of Hearst Castle. When used on-site at Hearst Castle, the app pinpoints visitors’ location and alerts them to stories of nearby features while they are exploring the gardens and exteriors of the buildings, which incorporate dozens of historic sculptures.

“We’re leading the way forward with technology for our visitors,” said Dan Falat, Superintendent of the San Luis Obispo Coast District of California State Parks. “Our new mobile app advances our mission to inspire and educate the people of California and those around the world, about one of our state’s most important monuments.”

Unlike traditional audio guides, the Hearst Castle App automatically triggers content without requiring the visitor to take an additional action, such as typing a number or scanning a code. The app has also been carefully designed for visitors to help them engage with the environment without visual distraction and to avoid disrupting the experience of other patrons. Users simply put the phone to their ear to trigger the audio content, which then plays privately, just like taking a phone call.

“William Randolph Hearst was one of the most brilliant visionaries ever in news media and movies, and he embraced innovation throughout his career,” commented Mary Levkoff, Museum Director, Hearst Castle.  “We’re delighted to continue his spirit of innovation to engage new audiences with our unique museum.”

The updated 3D map will be available for Android later this year.

About Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is a 165-room estate, filled with a spectacular art collection, in a 123-acre hilltop site that features manicured gardens with many outdoor sculptures ranging in date from c. 100 BC to the 1930s. It is surrounded by the privately owned Hearst Ranch (83,000 free-range acres) across from the seaside hamlet of San Simeon, California (about 250 miles north of Los Angeles). Conceived in 1919 by media mogul William Randolph Hearst and designed by Julia Morgan, the estate attracted such remarkable guests as Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, J. Paul Getty, Bernard Shaw, Calvin Coolidge, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, and Cary Grant. Visits are by ticket only. To reserve tickets in advance, go to www.hearstcastle.org

About Guidekick

Guidekick is a platform for the world’s attractions (museums, monuments, parks) to provide stunning native mobile apps to their visitors. The app transforms the on-site experience by providing intelligent indoor and outdoor navigation, and delivering content based on a visitor’s location. Attractions receive powerful cloud-based tools and analytic, providing deep insight into visitor behavior. Guidekick Inc. (www.guidekick.com) is a San Francisco-based technology company founded in 2014. The company is backed by 500 Startups and is a partner with leading art museums, including Hearst Castle, de Young Museum, and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

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