The travel industry is one of several industries that have turned to immersive technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in order to showcase what various destinations have to offer. Now the tourism agency for Lexington in Kentucky, VisitLEX is using an AR app to show off its historic downtown area.
The VisitLEX Experience App uses AR to create an interactive walking tour, as well as a scavenger hunt that covers the downtown area.
Both visitors and residents are being encouraged to download the app, which lets users begin the tour by visiting the VisitLEX office, which is located in the old courthouse, which in itself is a historic location.
The app then guides users through the downtown area, providing historical facts that appears as an overlay over the real world environment. Selected images and murals will be brought to life by the app, such as a larger-than-life mural of Abraham Lincoln.
Along the journey through Lexington downtown, users can ‘collect’ blue horses at each stop, which provide users with rewards for the experience. At the end of the tour, a message will appear in the app that tells a user to go and claim a reward at the final stop – the Visitors Centre. The rewards vary, but will include items such as a word-cloud t-shirt which has various words on it that relate to horses and horse riding, a popular souvenir item at the Visitors Centre.
The Vice President for marketing, Gathan Borden, said: “Visitors are looking to experience a destination like a local through interactive experiences like walking tours and scavenger hunts.”
There are ten total stops on the tour, from the Lyric Theatre to the Lexington Opera House and the Mary Todd Lincoln house. The entire tour takes roughly an hour.