AUGMENTED REALITY WALKING TOURS
As a 16-billion-dollar industry worldwide, it is apparent that walking tours are a great way to learn more about a city, a college campus, or a historical site. But what really makes walking tours great are enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guides. With modern-day augmented reality technology, those tour guides can be pre-programmed into the tour, guaranteeing a great experience for all those participating.
One example of an augmented reality tour done well can be found in Manchester, UK where users of a smartphone app can travel around the city and interact with a series of landmarks that provide augmented reality experiences linked to GPS coordinates. The experiences involve virtual tour guides telling stories about the history of the city. The city hopes that the tour will serve to inform people both of the city’s pioneering history, and its current efforts to become a world-leading smart city.
Tours at college campuses are integral to making potential students feel comfortable. At American University, prospective students can take a self-guided tour with an augmented reality app. Along the route, visitors find a few posters displays that “come to life” when they hold up their phone to it. One-stop is a poster in an arena, which will prompt an informational video about AU athletics and ends with the school mascot jumping out of the poster.
At QuantumERA, we recently designed a custom augmented reality tour for Philadelphia called Passport to Philadelphia. Using their mobile phones, travelers are guided to key locations in Center City and Old Philadelphia. The app includes fun activities at each stop like hearing the Liberty Bell ring, teleporting into the Franklin Institute, taking a selfie with Ben Franklin or being guided to where they can get delicious Philly soft pretzel. From the Rocky Statue, the famous “LOVE” sculpture and the Baldwin 6000 Locomotive to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the treats available at Reading Terminal Market, the Passport to Philadelphia provides travelers with a fun and memorable experience of the city.
Digital tour guides presented through augmented reality can provide location-based interactions, encourage user exploration, and provide a fun and educational experience, all while telling a multi-media rich story about a place. If you are interested in learning more about how augmented reality can step up your location’s walking tours, contact QuantumERA!