These four immersive experiences are taking UK visitor attractions in new directions

Tourism is changing fast, and tech is at the forefront of the transformation.

Qa Research was recently invited to talk at the first Interfun Expo about our research into the role of tech at visitor attractions.

The use of virtual and augmented reality is on the increase, and other speakers at the event talked about making VR fun – and how to elevate the ‘immersive experience’ of visitors.

This led us to look into the latest uses of this tech in the tourism industry. Here are four recent ventures which are taking the immersive experience in different directions.

1. 5G Smart Tourism trial

The first major trial of the 5G Smart Tourism project has taken place in Bath at the historic Roman Baths. Guests were able to immerse themselves in history using a virtual reality/augmented reality application enabled by 5th Generation Mobile network technology. You can read more about this collaboration between BBC R&D, the University of Bristol and Aardman Animations here.

2. Talk to a hero


The Forever Project, Bright White and Manchester Metropolitan University have collaborated to develop Audience with a Hero, a new way for audiences at cultural, heritage or sporting venues to have conversations with a digital version of another person using VR. A digital programme was produced for the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, which had preserved the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Visitors could engage with survivors’ answers to pre-recorded questions – the first use of this technology in the UK.

3. Battling as a team


The Battle of Bannockburn is fought indoors on a daily basis – in a visitor centre in Stirling. Unusually for an augmented reality experience it can be a team affair: up to 30 players take part around a computerised plan of the battlefield. “With virtual reality and augmented reality becoming major growth stories, they are likely to enhance tourists’ desire for immersive experiences in future,” writes Murray Pittock of the University of Glasgow.

4. Taking things outdoors


Time travel is now available in South Wales. But you don’t need a Tardis, just a bench. And, using a VR headset or just your phone, you are immersed in the history of Blaenavon: “It is hoped that the new immersive experience and Time Travellers’ benches will encourage visitors to further engage and take interest in Blaenavon’s rich heritage.”

 
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For more information about our work with the tourism sector contact Richard Bryan, Managing Director at richard.bryan@qaresearch.co.uk and 01904 632039