Thursday, 26 February 2015

Holywells Park AR Project

Holywells Park stables
The Elevate Team have been working closely with the Holywells Park Heritage Lottery Funded project run by Ipswich Borough Council.

The project is restoring some of the original features to the park as well as making more of its history available to the visiting public. We are supporting the project by offering our technical expertise around the use and creation of location aware activities.

We are developing two activities for the park and supporting the UCS students on a third. The two activities we are developing are both utilising augmented reality to bring the park to life. The first is a learning activity that augments video-based material over a static information board near the parks water feature.

The scenario is:

A park visitor has been and visited the information point and see the advertising material mentioning the hidden digital materials around the park, they have downloaded the required app to their smartphone.

They have walked to the water feature and looked at the information board, explaining some of the features of the pond, and what creatures they might see. They have noticed the icon on the board that indicates there is more to find out. They load the app on their smartphone and then they view the board on their phones screen.

The board then comes to life, with a video displaying over the board, and the video asks them if they would like to participate in a quick quiz. The person then touches the ‘yes’ button their phone screen. The video then displays some information and asks them a question about what they have just heard. Buttons appear on the screen and they can then choose an answer. The video will then tell them the if they are correct, and it will ask if they would like further information.

The second activity we are working on is a GPS based ‘Tree Trail’, where park visitors will be able to use their smart devices to view the park and find out about the trees and features around the park. If the visitor has the app open when they walk near one of these features they will be alerted by an audio introduction, when they can then find out more information.

Ipswich Borough Council are using a drone to video fly-throughs of the park. With the drone taking off and filming along the paths, these videos will be used to augment over another one of the information boards. Drones an area of interest to us as we believe they have great potential in other areas of working with the UCS Heritage team.

One thing we need to be careful of with the use of all this technology in an open space is, mobile signal and its strength. The new information point and cafe that are in the newly refurbished stables will have free wifi. We have spoken with the project manager about how they might extend this into the park. Extending the wifi is an option, but not one that will be 100% successful, to this end we undertook a mobile phone signal survey all around the park. Signal strength and speed tests were run at all points of interest in the park. These results were very encouraging as the area is now covered by 4G by two of the major operators, the others offered a fast 3G services.
Mobile phone signal survey

We are very exciting to be working with Ipswich Borough Council on such an innovative project and we will update this blog over the coming weeks and months.

No comments:

Post a Comment