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Tablet computers installed in London Eye capsules

Visitors to the London Eye can now use tablet computers to learn about the landmarks visible from the South Bank observation wheel.

Tablet computers installed in London Eye capsules

During its annual January maintenance closure the attraction has fitted Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices in each capsule.

The tablets feature a touch-screen guide to 44 of the buildings and structures which can be seen from the wheel.

With text available in five languages, the guide includes obvious landmarks such as the Shard and the Houses of Parliament as well as providing information on some of the less obvious places of interest within range of the London Eye.

The well-written text is concise enough to be comprehensible to first time visitors to the capital yet quirky enough to hold the interest of the most cynical Londoner.

For example, the blurb for the Strata SE1 skyscraper at the Elephant & Castle includes the information on the tower's Carbuncle Cup victory in 2010.

However, there are some obvious omissions from the South Bank buildings included in the interactive guide, such as the National Theatre.

The decision to install the tablets is the result of a three-month research programme which questioned 5,000 visitors to the London Eye to find out how the experience could be improved.

The results showed that the relatively gimmick-free environment of the capsule was appreciated, but visitors wanted to be able to learn more about the London cityscape.

"2012 is going to be a year of celebration throughout London and the UK," says David Sharpe, London divisional director for Merlin Entertainments, owner of the London Eye.

"We wanted to kick off the year by presenting both our new and loyal guests with a state-of-the-art and exciting experience on the EDF Energy London Eye.

"I've worked at the London Eye for 10 years now, enjoying countless rotations and I can assure our guests that the new interactive touch screens provide a fresh view of the capital.

"We're thrilled to be offering our guests this innovative addition and hope that all those who visit us in this Olympic year enjoy the benefits that the guides bring to their experience."

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