New augmented reality app to woo American Visitors to York


A new app with embedded videos will transport visitors back in time when they visit York Minster this year.  York is one of twelve of England’s historic cities which has collaborated to develop an innovative augmented reality (AR) product, set to bring heritage to life in a dynamic new way.  The ground-breaking new AR experience is being launched to American visitors today in a collaboration with VisitEngland and VisitBritain.

Some of history’s most fascinating characters connected to York Minster will be brought to life with the app, part of a project that captures significant historic moments in time, whilst providing visitors with the opportunity to explore twelve of England’s most historic cities.

The augmented reality project has been a year in the planning and was primarily developed to appeal to a younger American audience by reinterpreting England’s history in a dynamic new way.  Visit York collaborated with England’s Heritage Cities in putting forward a funding bid to VisitEngland to be part of this project and other cities involved include: Bath, Cambridge, Carlisle, Chester, Durham, Greenwich, Lancaster, Lincoln, Oxford, Salisbury and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager, Visit York, a part of Make It York, said, “The app uses cutting-edge technology to give some of York Minster’s most significant stories a fresh perspective and bring some of York’s fascinating real life charactersto life.  In a rapidly changing and competitive tourism environment, the use of AR technology will offer a point of difference that will attract visitors and showcase the best of the city.

This is a true marrying of old and new, inspiring a new generation of American visitors to step back into the past using the latest technology.”

Built on the site of Constantine’s imperial proclamation, York Minster has survived nearly 2,000 years of war and religious conflict, making it a rich source of compelling human tales.  With the new app visitors will be able to explore the stories of York Minster through the sharp eyes of their guide, 19th century Choirboy Robert Swinbank, who raised the alarm on spotting the fire in York Minster in 1829.

Visitors can find out who cut off the heads of the church’s grand stone statues, marvel at John Thornton’s enormous stained glass window, which predicts the end of the world and hear the dramatic tale behind the Minster’s devastating fire of 1829.