Shiny, clean, minimalist.

When Manchester relocated its visitor centre to Piccadilly Gardens in July 2010, they decided to make a statement by creating a tourist office like no other.

Using state of the art technology, the £800,000 project is designed so that visitors to the city have an interactive and fun way to access information, as well as reflecting ‘the modern essence of Manchester’.

The new visitor centre has a clean feel: as well as a mediawall taking up one end of the room, the standout features are the use of Microsoft surface tables for interactive mapping.

This is the first time Microsoft Surface has been used by European destination in a Tourist Office and the app is the first of a planned suite of products available for people to explore the city with.

You are Tom Cruise in 'Minority Report' (but taller)

As you can see, there’s a real engagement when people use the maps.  As Brendan Haws, Creative Director of magneticNorth, who developed this app puts it:

It’s a design that really rewards curiosity and exploration and yet doesn’t get in the way of its primary goal of being useful. After all, pleasure is useful too.

These two videos below give some more information about the technology on offer.