Stirling to become world’s first fully Augmented Reality city
Stirling will become the first fully Augmented Reality (AR) city in the world following a ground-breaking project involving Stirling Council, BT and Seymourpowell.
As they report Stirling Council has launched a ground-breaking Augmented Reality tourism app.
It’s another example of Scottish tourism harnessing the latest ‘Metaverse‘ innovations for providing exciting, immersive experiences for visitors.
The cutting edge software will transform the visitor experience to Stirling allowing people to explore the city in a unique and exciting way through their smartphone screen.
Virtual signs will respond to users’ needs, Stirling’s rich history and heritage will be brought to life and interactive games will unlock rewards and incentives.
To access the new AR environment, people simply need to download the free Stirling XP app and then hold up their phones as they navigate the city.
Stirling Council has invested £200,000 in the project via funding from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme.
Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Offering this complete AR environment across Stirling is an exciting world-first and will revolutionise the visitor experience in our amazing city.
“Stirling’s historic city centre and world-class attractions will be overlaid with interactive information, graphics, 3D models and much more, creating a fully immersive and dynamic experience that no other city currently offers.
“Stirling is already a must-visit destination and this pioneering product will raise the city’s profile and attract more people to come here, boosting the wider tourism economy.
“The new free app will also open up a plethora of fantastic opportunities for local businesses and will make Stirling a more inclusive and accessible place that’s setting the world standard for next generation tourism.”
Stirling’s substantial investment in fibre broadband and BT’s rollout of 4G and 5G in the area has delivered the cutting-edge connectivity to lead other world cities on this innovative technology.
A first of its kind experience
Alan Lees, Director for BT’s Enterprise business in Scotland, said: “At BT, we don’t just build the connectivity, we help to build the solutions which will be powered by it to change communities.
“Tourism is vital to the Scottish economy and working with Stirling Council and Seymour Powell we’re excited to be part of this brilliant app, helping to deliver a first of its kind experience which visitors will love.”
Seymour Powell, a tech innovation company with a base at Codebase Stirling, developed the cutting edge software in partnership with Stirling Council and BT.
Brings the city to life
Chris Doughty, Head of Immersive Experiences at Seymour Powell said: “The Stirling XP project demonstrates what is possible when cutting-edge infrastructure providers, optimistic and forward-looking public bodies and award-winning designers work together.
“Using Google’s new Geospatial platform, we were able to design a truly immersive experience that brings the city to life by revealing an exciting digital layer, gamifying local history and providing tourists with local challenges that encourage them to go out and explore the city.
“We are delighted to have been able to deliver a project which firmly positions Stirling as a world-class digital destination and paves the way for continued, industry-leading, development.”
Experience Stirling from the palm of their hands
Neil Christison, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “It is incredibly exciting to see such an innovation showcase Stirling like this.
“AR enables people from anywhere in the world to experience Stirling from the palm of their hands and learn more about this historic and vibrant city in an interactive way.
“It is also great to have a new platform that local businesses can take advantage of and a tool that visitors can use to plan their trips to Scotland.
“We know that tourism is a force for good with an impact that spreads far beyond the industry itself – it benefits our economy, our community and our wellbeing.”
Stirling is a step ahead of other destinations
Go Forth Stirling BID Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith welcomed news of the project and the opportunities it will give the city’s business owners.
She said: “This is an exciting initiative which really taps into the expectations of visitors – especially those of the younger generation who grew up with technology – who are looking for a much more experiential and immersive experience when they come to a city.
“It’s great to see that Stirling is a step ahead of other destinations when it comes to enhancing the visitor experience and we’re excited by the power of augmented reality to tell stories and showcase our amazing city by providing more options for locals and visitors to explore its hidden gems.
“The many independent and national businesses represented by the BID will benefit from a new way of promoting the experiences, goods and services they have to offer – whether that’s through the use of interactive posters and artwork or giving visitors the chance to explore inside buildings without ever leaving the footpath.
“We look forward to the chance to show people in Stirling and around the world exactly what makes our city extra special.”
The Stirling XP project supports the objectives and aspirations of a number of Stirling Council plans and strategies including the Tourism and Events Plan 2018-23, the Making Stirling a Dementia Friendly City – A Citizen Led Places and Spaces Project and the City Centre Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2030.
The aim of the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme is to ensure that all place-based investments are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities and accelerate our ambitions for place, 20-minute neighbourhoods, town centre action, community led regeneration and community wealth building.