Mischa Eligoloff in Torbay, courtesy of the Herald Express

Mischa Eligoloff in Torbay, courtesy of The Herald Express

University helps to pioneer augmented reality on the English Riviera

Web Innovation project staff Darren Davies, Sue Milward and Rich Osborne have shared their Augmented Reality expertise with Torbay Council and have enabled them to use this exciting new technology as part of their recently launched ‘Torbay Connected Project’.

torbayconnected.co.uk is embracing this latest innovation in technology to reveal the rich geology, heritage, culture and built environment of Torbay, also known as the English Riviera.

The Torbay Connected project team, led by the Council’s culture team worked closely with the University project team, to launch six Augmented Reality Layars for smart phone users.

Augmented Reality Layars showcase information drawn from the Torbay Connected website. The website includes an interactive map which features a wealth of information via hundreds of points of interest (POIs) positioned as locality pins.

The POIs include stories of heritage, geology, great buildings and the area’s Geopark. Each one features text, images and, where possible, video clips. The information is laid out in different coloured layers of pins.

These pins are seen hovering on the screen of the phone as they are held up to a vista. Users can stroll around, pointing their camera to any area in Torbay, immediately accessing a wealth of knowledge and information.

Residents and visitors can also contribute to the pins by uploading one or more stories to the ‘your place’ Layar. Once uploaded to the website, the information is available through the augmented reality technology.

When a developer or architect is looking at developing in Torbay, they will be able to view the locality pins and may use a particular story or stories as part of a new development.

Sue Milward, Head of IT Innovation, Exeter University, said: “We were delighted to work with Torbay Council to share innovative ideas on the value of augmented reality to all our customers. 

“This technology is helping to bring a historically, geologically and culturally diverse area to life for residents and visitors.”

Torbay Council’s Partnership Development Officer, Mischa Eligoloff, said: “By using augmented reality we are able to reveal the Rivera’s stories, tales and even myths to a new audience who may not traditionally be accessing the rich and amazing history of the area. It has been great working with the University team who are amongst the country’s foremost experts on emerging technologies.”

Date: 8 April 2011

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