This isn’t a heritage app…

Does an application have to be a ‘heritage application’ in order for it to be useful to the heritage sector? Does it need to tell you historical information in order for it to be used within heritage?

I am going to introduce you to one of my favourite apps that isn’t necessarily heritage focussed. The best bit, you don’t have to be in York to check this one out. It’s global, so there are no excuses to not have a go.

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The Unknown Professional

We’ve talked a lot about apps and how they work. But now I think it’s time to take the whole idea back to their roots, the creators. Who created these apps? For what purpose?

When you read information regardless of whether it is in a museum display, on a blog or in an app, do you take that information at face value? Do you assume that because it is written by an unknown (or known) professional that the information is right? That this information shouldn’t be challenged?

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Blogging will resume shortly

As is the problem with blogging when you are a uni student, I’m currently overwhelmed by essay writing. But I haven’t forgotten about you all!

What can you expect to be coming soon?

  • The end of the Augmenting the Senses series (with videos and everything!)
  • More bonus content for putting up with me being absent this week!

I can’t wait to post more soon!

Augmenting the Senses: Sight

This is the most common form that you probably think of when you think of Augmented Reality. Using a tablet/mobile device, you hold it up, look at the screen and information is placed on top of the live feed. From the Guinness World Records 2015 book (where things appear out of the page) to the applications that I’ve been studying such as York Churches. There are many different ways to augment sight.

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Augmenting the senses: Smell

This one is a bit weirder. Augmenting sight, easy. Sound, pretty simple. Smell?

Imagine if you could smell the past. Wherever you are reading this post, smell what’s around you. Then imagine that in a hundred years time there could be a technology that allowed people to visit where you are now and smell exactly what you’re smelling. It’s pretty cool right?

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Augmenting the senses: Sound

The most common form of Augmented Reality is that of sound or audio. This is where a sound is played, or augmented, over the sound you are hearing naturally. Normally this is achieved by having a handheld audio device where you key in numbers that correspond with numbers on presentation boards around the site. Otherwise, this can be achieved by having an audio track that is downloadable to an ipod/MP3, or on a mobile device.

Me looking very fetching with a handheld audio guide

Me looking very fetching with a handheld audio guide. Photo by Caroline Baker (2012)

An example of Augmented Reality mobile applications in York is the audio tours by the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP). Part of the University of York, IPUP has produced three audio tours for York.

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