Step into Scotland with immersive AR app
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Have you’ve ever dreamed of stepping into a wardrobe and finding yourself transported Narnia-style? If so, you’re in luck.
Users of a new augmented reality app must first scan the floor with their device. They must position the portal in an area free of any mess. Then they can then walk directly into an immersive 360-degree experience.
Portal AR is a new app available now from the Apple App and Google Play Stores. It is the first travel tool of its kind. Users can take a virtual visit to Scotland.
Scotland boasts attractions like Edinburgh Castle. This is the former home of doomed ruler Mary, Queen of Scots. Scotland also has the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. It is an ancient volcano that is better known today as one of the country’s top hiking spots. One town in Scotland is St. Andrews. This was birthplace of golf and is home to the university where Britain’s future king and queen first met.
The innovative app was launched as part of the country’s “Scotland Is Now” campaign. That's according to “The Scotsman’s” Alison Campsie.
It was designed in collaboration with Google and VisitScotland. The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise also worked with them on the app. The Universities Scotland worked on the app, too. Its immersive features are intended to aid travelers planning trips to Scotland.
The app offers a range of VR experiences. It includes a paramotoring tour of Ben Nevis - Great Britain’s highest peak. It also includes a visit to Glasgow’s Kelingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Users can virtually interact with the country’s landscape and history. Portal AR examines the ways in which Scots live and work. It also looks at how they invest and study.
Voiceovers from locals complement video footage of subjects. These include a satellite-building facility in Glasgow. Also included is a fashion class at the Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design. You can also make leisurely strolls along the Scottish shores.
As Campsie notes, Portal AR isn’t Scotland’s first foray into groundbreaking mobile technology. Back in 1999, communications company Orange helped the Edinburgh Fringe Festival launch one of the world’s first mobile apps. It was a guide to the annual arts show.
The festival featured 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in its 2017 incarnation. It is, in fact, another one of the distinctive Scottish experiences highlighted by the new app.
The “Scotland Is Now” tourism campaign launched in April and cost $8 million. “The Scotsman’s” Brian Ferguson reports the central message of the campaign is one of inclusivity—touting the country as “one of the most open” in the world. This philosophy underlies the new AR experience, which will be continually updated as new content is developed.