Parliament has launched a new augmented reality app allowing visitors to discover the secrets of the most ancient part of the Palace of Westminster.
The free app, ‘Explore Westminster Hall’, provides visitors with the opportunity to explore the hidden features of the Hall, bringing to life the historical attributes and events that took place there.
A range of experiences are on offer, designed using state-of-the-art augmented and virtual reality software. As well as providing detailed information about the building, the app uses the advanced technology to create an immersive visitor experience. The vast space of Westminster Hall has been recreated as a 3D model, using specially developed software to ensure the app is able to offer a high performance level against a wide range of mobile operating systems, smart phones and tablets.
The app combines AR and VR experiences that are visually accurate and historically correct. By pointing the camera on handheld devices at trigger points around the hall, the app activates a series of narrated interactive encounters. Visitors can navigate the hall virtually and focus in more detail on areas of specific interest, such as the famous hammer beam roof or the Jubilee Window, or meet a 3D reincarnation of Charles I, and take a ‘selfie’ with him to share with friends.
Designed in collaboration with Red Frog Digital, and supplemented by images from the Parliamentary Archives and Parliamentary Art Collection, the app encourages visitors to explore and learn about the historic setting. It has been designed to appeal to a range of age groups, and includes synchronised English language narration with optional subtitles.
It is free to download, and for those not able to visit the Hall in person, app trigger point posters are available online to download and print at home.
Tom O’Leary, Head of Public Engagement and Learning said: “This app is an important part of Parliament’s visitor experience, combining historical information about our national heritage with innovative technology. We have worked hard to ensure that the historic setting of Westminster Hall can be enjoyed and appreciated by our many visitors, and would encourage people to download the app and take the tour.”