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Royal British Legion Uses AR to Tell Stories from the Great War

The horrors and heroism of the First World War are now long distant, but the lessons of the past should be remembered. A campaign led by the Royal British Legion it using augmented reality (AR) to bring stories of those lost in battle to life.

The campaign is a joint effort between the Royal British Legion, Geometry Global UK and AR company Blippar as part of an expansion of a campaign that saw artillery shell fuses and earth samples from the battlefield of Passchendaele melted down to create 60,083 poppy pins to honour every British soldier who fell in battle.

The AR experience is triggered by the pins. Each one comes in an commemorative box, which, when scanned using the Blippar app will show an immersive view of a muddy trench, showing how the soldiers at Passchendaele lived as their stories are told.

One story told is that of Captain Noel Chavasse, who was a British medical doctor and Olympic athlete, and the only British serviceman to be twice awarded the Victoria Cross during the war. Chavasse was said to have been only 25 yards from enemy lines as he worked through the night to save three men as bombs and sniper fire rained down around them.

Omaid Hiwaizi, global head of experience strategy at Blippar, said. “That’s how we’ve managed to create a portal into the world of the soldier in a muddy trench.”

“By blending sharp human behaviour insight and popular technology, stories from a century ago are brought to today’s audience helping create a much better understanding of experiences the brave sustained.” Karl Turley, business director at Geometry Global UK, said.

Sales from the campaign will generate money that will be used to support all members of the British Armed Forces as well as veterans and their families.

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