We are happy to announce that the TravelAR Slovenia application is now available in yet another location. Črnomelj saw the launch of the app on the 9th of March. Visitors of the picturesque town can now travel through time to explore Črnomelj as it was in the 17th century. On a central location in the town centre users of the TravelAR app can view and interact with a stylized AR maquette, which brings to life the towns historical highlights as detailed 3d models. Besides the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Church of Saint Peter, the former town walls and the castle have been reconstructed and regained their former grandeur. The app offers users more than just a view of the town. It provides detailed information about these cultural heritage spots in the form of a captivating narrative enriched with interactivity.
Over the course of the next two years the TravelAR project will continue to run and expand in both Črnomelj and Kočevje. Other locations in Slovenia will follow soon. Participants will learn how to model using Maya 3d software, enabling them to reconstruct notable cultural heritage sites in their hometown, build interactive narratives, and contribute to an Augmented Reality app which boosts local and regional tourism.
The relevance and urgency of adopting novel technologies to advance tourism in smaller towns and cities should not be underestimated according to Marko Stijepic, Managing Director of the Kočevje Business Incubator and project partner: “These days almost every village on Earth is claiming to be the top tourism destination. It is essential to stand out from the crowd. We believe creating Augmented Reality powered tourism products gives us that edge. AR brings something extra to our tourism offer and it creates a whole new visitor experience. It is important to give guests that memorable experience which is linked to your destination, and this is exactly what we are doing with TravelAR Slovenia.”
At the beginning of February we had the unique opportunity to demonstrate our TravelAR Slovenia app at ISE 2018 in Amsterdam, the largest AV and systems integration show in the world.
The kind people of Epson Moverio, one of the leading manufacturers of Augmented Reality smart glasses, invited us to showcase our TravelAR Slovenia experience using their Moverio BT-350 smart glasses. To be invited to the largest AV show in the world by one of the leading AR wearable producers is great. But it’s even better when they promote your AR app as a best practice of how their smart glasses can be used to create an immersive Augmented Reality cultural heritage experience.
Marc-Antoine Godfroid, Epson Moverio EMEA New Market Development Specialist: “We have been happy to work with CtrlArt and their TravelAR Slovenia solution. It’s a very interesting application and the content is amazing. CtrlArt has a lot of experience with creating visitor experiences. You can see that in this application. The content looks really good, and even better on our smart glasses.”
We were slightly overwhelmed, but certainly pleasantly surprised with the interest it generated among the visitors of the fair. With great ease visitors used the Epson Moverio BT-350 to interact with all the features of our app. It showed us that weeks of experimenting and tweaking paid off. Users were able to truly utilize the full potential of the TravelAR Slovenia app by using the Moverio smart glasses.
The many enthusiastic responses we received also rubbed off on us and strengthen our belief that the synergy between wearable hardware and software makes a truly immersive and captivating AR experience. We have tried several different wearable devices over the course of the last years, especially while developing the TravelAR Slovenia application, but it must be said that in our modest opinion the Epson Moverio BT-350 is the go-to device for Augmented Reality experiences on the intersection of tourism and cultural heritage. And also for industry the advantages and possible implementations are abundant. It’s lightweight, versatile, easy to use, and offers a full range of features which enable an immersive AR experience.
We are proud to become official Epson Moverio certified Partner, and looking forward to pushing the boundaries in augmented reality.
The TravelAR Slovenia application is up and running and had its unofficial launch mid-November during the Day of Innovation organized by the Incubator of Kočevje.
The TravelAR Slovenia tourism app Is an exciting, interactive Augmented Reality experience for visitors of the towns of Kočevje and Črnomelj who would like to discover the local tourist attractions and learn more about its cultural heritage. The app gives users historical and touristic information in a playful way in the form of dynamic AR narratives and 3d reconstructions on designated locations in both towns.
Spring 2018 the TravelAR Slovenia app will officially be launched in Kočevje. Two locations in the town centre will function as platforms to trigger this AR experience.
Also in the center of Črnomelj a location will be prepared (spring 2018) which will serve as a marker for an Augmented Reality experience featuring a reconstruction of the old town center as it was in the 17th century with a captivating narrative and interactivity. In Črnomelj the app will also include an AR tour of the town with pictures and a compelling story highlighting the events taking place there during the Second World War.
Although the TravelAR Slovenia app is intended to be an on location experience we also enable anyone who is interested to try it from the comfort of their own home. Feel free to download the application TravelAR Slovenia from the Google Play Store here or Apple App Store here, go to our dedicated webpage here to print the markers, follow the instructions and launch the experience.
It goes without saying that the scale of the content from the printed marker differs from the on location marker in Kočevje.
More locations supporting the TravelAR Slovenia app are currently being developed, and will be deployed in the coming years.
It’s not often you get to make a 3d reconstruction of a centuries-old coat of arms which is part of one of Slovenia’s most beautiful castles. So when the opportunity arose (with thanks to the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia), we took it with both hands. The 500-year-old stone coat of arms is fixed on a wall of one of the oldest wings of the Gewerkenegg Castle in the mining town of Idrija (which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list). The castle was built in the first half of the 16th century. Although the coat of arms can not be dated with any certainty, historians and experts alike agree that it dates from the same period as the castle, around 1530.
What made this project particularly challenging was the fact that there wasn’t any recent source material available. The only thing we had, which still showed the coat of arms in a decrepit state, was a photo taken over 100 years ago. Especially in the last century gradual deterioration took its toll on the material, leading to the loss of many details.
With only a century-old picture to work with in combination with experts’ advice on heraldic designs from the early 16th century we managed to meticulously reconstruct it. Currently a life-size 3d printed model of the reconstructed coat of arms is on display in the Idrija museum.
Check out the time-lapse video of the reconstruction below
Early in 2014 we launched a new project CraftyBuilders - an animated online children series with a goal to inspire the imagination and to actively promote play with wooden building blocks. The series is built around short episodes of cg animation, that are minimalistic in design and aimed at early age children. for more info on the project:
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: CraftyBuildersTV
Latest articles by the CtrlArt team