Augmented reality and the future
Small municipalities have a difficult time in 2017. People are buying more and more online and the turnover of the local middle class is falling. Likewise in the municipality of Boxtel. While the nearby Oertijd museum was rapidly expanding with about 10,000 visitors a year the visitor rate to the city centre was dropping. Interestingly, the majority of the visitors ended up at the museum via the municipality’s website.
From the community came a rough idea about ”using futuristic techniques like augmented or virtual reality“. I was brought on board as a consultant to see if there was indeed something to be done here. We came up with an idea and a storyline of escaped dinosaurs running around the city. A rough tour for people to follow upon which they would get a good look of the city centre and local shops.
We scouted locations for our augmented reality markers and talked to local authorities for licensing guidelines on placement. We tried to convince local people that those dinosaurs would not actually be trampling their flower beds and gardens. We tried endlessly to explain the concept of augmented reality and that we would only make the dinosaurs run through the streets and swim through the river using a mobile App.
The mobile App we developed allows children to search and capture escaped dinosaurs. Furthermore children can take pictures of themselves with the dinosaurs, share them on social media and even present them to some local horeca for a small gift.
What we tried to achieve here is to solve practical problems through entertainment ideas. In addition, a huge advantage of AR and a popular App is of course the measurability and the collection of data for further analysis.