With the rise of the smartphone and the coming of Google Glass, the seam between real life and a digital experience will begin to blur as the world becomes the web for browsing. This spring, Fort Edmonton Park has partnered with Aurasma.com and Strong Coffee Marketing to create an Augmented Reality (AR) experience for the 2013 season. The AR app will share one of six characters of Edmonton’s history with Edmonton transit riders. The portrayal of Edmonton’s early history with the use of costumed interpreters is what Fort Edmonton Park is known for. Unfortunately, this experience is unknown to many of the new Edmontonians who have arrived in recent years due to the growing Alberta economy.
The Challenge of Bringing History to Life
Strong Coffee Marketing was tasked with bringing a piece of living history to an audience that would not normally consider visiting a historic themed attraction. Fort Edmonton Park also launched a specialized bus route for the park this season. Linking the transit experience with the Fort Edmonton Park experience seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out the Aurasma AR application. We helped bring history to life all throughout Edmonton.
There are 75 bus benches in select locations around the city. These benches are the pre-programmed target markers for the AR content to activate on the Aurasma Studio platform.
The objective of the campaign is to generate awareness for Fort Edmonton Park as a destination to visit this summer with family and friends.
How the Augmented Reality Experience Works
After downloading the Aurasma App, searching and following the Fort Edmonton Park’s Aurasma Channel and scanning the Fort Edmonton Park bus bench, transit riders will hear a short interpretive message from a costumed historical interpreter. Each day of the week has a different historical message linked to Edmonton’s past.
In the lead up to the park opening, to help build excitement about this campaign, we also programmed and targeted the back of the park employee’s business cards and created a tutorial video to share on Fort Edmonton Park’s social media channels with the launch of the new regular transit service to the front entrance of Fort Edmonton Park.
One of the most exciting features of the Aurasma app is that it also allows viewers to snap and share pictures of their augmented reality experience on Facebook and Twitter.
It is too early to tell what the response will be to the digital historical characters, but we look forward to seeing more Facebook photos of transit users posing with Edmontonians from the past.