The walls of York can talk. Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin’s hangman, Railway King George Hudson and Richard III’s valet, who breathlessly recounts his master’s death at Bosworth, are a few of the characters bursting forth in a hologram tour emanating around the historic city.
Sir George Cayley, a 19th century Yorkshire aviation pioneer, is one chap whose insights can be triggered at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Sir Barnes Wallis, synonymous with the bouncing bomb, and fearless flyers Amy Johnson and Lettice Curtis also appear. The latter was the first to fly a four-engine heavy bomber.
“It is something quite remarkable,” says Ian Reed, the Director of the museum, discussing the City of York Hologram Tour smartphone app.
“To have your picture taken alongside animated portrayals of Sir Barnes Wallis, Neville Shute or even a wartime bomber crew member while they tell you about their experiences is sure to capture the imagination.”
Chris Knight, of inventors Appeartome, says the company’s alliance with the local council in York has been “outstanding”.
“As we were perfecting the complex technology, we just looked out across the York skyline and thought what a wonderful opportunity,” he reflects.
“We realised we were in one of the finest cities in the world. It’s got history by the bucketful, and it is a forward-looking city with free wi-fi around the centre.
“What could be better than creating our app to bring York to life digitally?”
The ghosts ready to leap out range from soldiers, Victorian pickpockets and a butcher’s boy to a town crier, a woman depicting the Viking capital of Jorvik and a soldier describing the defensive importance of York.
2D and 3D maps, food and drink listings and instant location recognition are among the other features of the app, which Knight calls a “game-changing” idea of value to the sport, tourism and education sectors.
Revenue from advertising and attractions will be shared between the council and Appeartome.
- App £2.99, downloadable on iTunes.