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The London Eye - the great big Ferris wheel that looms over the capital's Southbank - is eleven years old. It has only just now been given the technological upgrade it has arguably deserved for yonks, as one of London's most iconic tourist attractions.
Each of the Eye's 32 capsules has been outfitted with six Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, bristling with information about the sights visible during the wheel's half-hour jaunt through 360 degrees. That's 192 tabs in total - a mere £77,000 from your local electronics retailer.
The number of Tab 10.1s aboard the London Eye
The folks from the London Eye told us they had tried out 16 different possible interactive experiences on more than 5,000 members of the public to find out what sort of design suited the attraction best.
There is, of course, an instant problem with jamming an info box into a London Eye capsule. If you're suspended 444ft above the Thames, you should either be screaming or admiring the view, not transfixed to a tablet - such things can be enjoyed in PC World, which doesn't demand a £20 entry fee. Realising this, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1s in each pod don't beat your eyes into numb ambivalence with reams of text.
The interface of the tablets is meant to mirror what you're seeing. There's a 360-degree panoramic view of London for you to flick around, peppered with 44 local and local-ish attractions such as Big Ben, the Shard and - less excitingly - Waterloo Station. There's the option to switch between day and night too, although visit on one of London's wintery fog days and you may find the real view falls somewhat short of what's displayed on the Tab 10.1's shiny PLS screen.
Each attraction's info pane is accompanied by a brief blurb and some stats, including how far away it is, when it was made and how high it is. For most of us, this isn't what a trip on the London Eye is about. But if you're travelling with a son, daughter, nephew of niece, it's the perfect way to ooze worldy-wiseness without having to put in any of the usually-requisite effort. London Eye - single-handedly restoring the "my daddy knows everything" effect.
A great view on a less-than-great morning
If you to get bored on the way down, as the glorious view of the Thames slowly devolves into a view of the grey streets surrounding the Thames, there are some additional panoramas on show within the Interactive experience. You can check out the view from the top of the Gherkin while you're on top of the Eye, or even look in on the camera perched atop the Eye itself, filming day and night (although this wasn't implemented when we took our tour).
The London Eye has been in service since March 2000, granting over 40 million visitors 135-metre high views of London. Fewer than half of TrustedReviews's London team members have tried the attraction, proving that the closer you are to an attraction, the less likely you are to take advantage of it. Ho hum. Adult tickets are available from £17.01 online.
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