The Oscar-winning actor wants to teach travelers about American history in his U.S. new based travel app
In August 2020, the Oscar-winning actor Kevin Costner along with entrepreneur Woody Sears, launched a new travel app called HearHere promoted as a “road trip story guide”.
HearHere is the perfect app for road trips in the United States, it shares with travelers short audios of the places they are visiting with interesting data and offers different topics. The app currently has over 9,000 audios narrated by voice actors with a great variety of information: from Janis Joplin to America’s Founding Fathers, from music to sports.
According to the information published on TechCrunch, by February 2022, HearHear had over 100,000 users and raised $3.2M to improve the storytelling road trip app.
During the pandemic, the app became more relevant and interesting for those wanting to avoid crowded places and learn more about the history of their current location while driving.
And it looks like the road trip trend will continue. According to a recent survey by The Vacationer, 80% of Americans said they wanted to take a road trip during the summer of 2022, and now travelers will be able to enhance their west coast road trip experience and learn more about landscapes while they listen to Costner—HearHere’s co-founder— voice.
The app is available in the App Store and in the continental United States, but plans to launch in Hawaii and Alaska very soon. Free accounts include 5 stories and paid accounts —which costs 36$ per year— get unlimited content access. In the future, the company wants to expand internationally.
Kevin Costner Explains More About The Travel App
The actor recently explained more about this project to CNBC and said that he had an emotional attachment to the idea and feels part of its audience: “I’m the guy that drives around America… when you see those bronze markers along the way, I want to stop. I want to read what was there.” And added: “It’s something of history, and I remember being really thrilled by that. Otherwise, you’re just watching the miles click off.”
From the beginning, Costner thought it was a great idea and found a great team to develop the project. He has made a special emphasis on history as he believes it’s important to learn about the first people who lived in North America: “That was the fundamental for me… who are the first people? — because there’s no here without knowing who was there before.”
Besides being entertaining with great storytelling and good audio quality, HearHere creators have also focused on telling true stories. Costner said that it can be hard and unpleasant to learn about local history, but it’s crucial to understand current events. He said: “Our story is not always a great one. There was so much violence in America. We’re watching violence play out now across the globe… to think that that didn’t occur here — it did.”
HereHear is designed to notify travelers of stories related to their current location. The app allows users to customize features and the technology will show different content depending on the traveler’s interests. In order to have more relevant information and take advantage of all functions, users need to create an account.
Users will have to enable location sharing and notifications during road trips to make the most of the app. Once a traveler listens to a story, the app will not reproduce the same story again—unless the user clears history— so that each trip can be a different experience.
Travelers can also see stories’ locations on the map or in lists and explore all the stories available in specific locations. Users can download and bookmark stories as well as see all stories by the same narrator. The My Stories section can store bookmarked stories, and favorite stories and show users the history of the content listened to.
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