Real and virtual elements merging before the visitor's eyes

Emerging technologies build new levels of interaction to interpret cultural artifacts and historical locations

Augmented reality (AR) is the superposition of digitally generated graphics onto real-time views of the world with technologies now commonly embedded in smartphones and tablets, such as a digital camera, compass, accelerometer, and GPS.

The technology is fascinating and an excellent tool to support onsite tours and provide live interaction with digital 3D models of buildings and artifacts

Augmented reality allows going beyond what is immediately visible, to discover virtual content through the screens of smartphones and tablets

The location based AR channels are composed of floating points of interest (POIs) positioned using GPS coordinates. By touching the POIs users can access pages containing information about existing and demolished buildings, landscape features, and historical photographs among other topics.

Virtual layers of information can be browsed as a map, list, or live view while visiting historical locations

Another possible use for augmented reality in museums, historical sites, and traveling exhibits, is the connection of virtual layers of information on top of graphic material.

Historical photographs, videos, and even interactive 3D virtual artifacts can be triggered in printed ads and advertisement banners to be experienced anywhere, in schools, at home, or in the streets.