The Louvre Museum in Paris overhauled their digital tour guide system last week, replacing it with, surprisingly, a stock of Nintendo 3DS consoles. Now you can browse the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa in...3-D! Or in real life, I guess, since you're already in the museum. (The resolution's better in real life.)
The 3DS actually is a pretty decent device for getting around a huge museum--it has two screens, one of which is a resistive touchscreen and the other is a 3-D screen. You can have a map on one screen and audio tour options on the other, or a map and a list of the museum's most popular exhibits. Plus the 3DS has a locator--GPS can be tricky indoors, but the Louvre has a system of beacons placed around the museum for precise location, so you can always tell where you are and where you want to go.
I can't imagine the 3-D is all that useful--the demo video below shows a lot of flashy 3-D views of the exhibits in the museum, which doesn't make a ton of sense to me--but the two screens would actually work well in practice.
Or, if you get bored, you can find a bench and play a few rounds of Mario Kart 7 (not included at the museum, probably). The 3DS costs $6.50 to rent--for a few hours, anyway, until the battery craps out. Maybe in a few years we'll be able to replace them with Google Glasses?
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.