Stirling will become the first fully augmented reality city in the world following a ground-breaking project involving Stirling Council, BT and Seymour Powell.
Augmented reality (AR) combines elements of the physical world and the digital world. It provides an interactive experience where digital elements are overlaid onto real-life environments and objects.
The city will use AR to “enhance the visitor experience” allowing people to explore the city with virtual signs giving users further information at several landmarks.
The app also includes interactive games to encourage users to engage with and learn more about the city’s history.
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 Council has invested £200,000 in the project via funding from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme.
The software was developed by Seymour Powell, a tech innovation company with a base in the city, in partnership with Stirling Council and BT.
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.”
It is hoped that the AR experience will provide tourists with a unique and gamified experience that brings the city to life and encourages users to go out and explore the city.
Go Forth Stirling BID Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith welcomed the project. 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.
“We look forward to the chance to show people in Stirling and around the world exactly what makes our city extra special.”
To access the new AR environment, people are required to download an app and then hold up their phones as they navigate the city.
Feature Image Credit: Stirling XP / Stirling Council