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Tourist app uses AI to recognise French landmarks

The ‘Shazam’ of landmarks allows users to take photos of monuments in Paris and Rennes and have instant access to information about the site

New app allows you to ‘Shazam’ buildings, statues street art and other landmarks Pic: LDprod / Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence is being used to help identify landmarks for visitors. 

Whatizis allows users to ‘Shazam’ buildings, statues, street art and other landmarks – a reference to the app which identifies music that is playing. 

The free app was launched in Rennes in June in partnership with the local tourist office and now also covers Paris and the Ile-de-France region. It can recognise more than 50 monuments in Rennes and 450 in Paris. 

Simply open the app, point your smartphone at a monument which has piqued your curiosity, and take a photo to learn what it is called and other basic information. 

Short texts and audio guides of 30 seconds to a minute and a half, created by local tour guides, provide the history and anecdotes surrounding the landmark. 

Once downloaded, the app does not need an internet connection to work. 

Founder Olivier d’Avesnes has said the start-up is working on a version in English which should be ready next summer. 

It could also be launched in other cities in the future.

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