For the first time in the U.S., augmented reality (AR) tours using smart glasses will make the past come alive for visitors to major Presidential historic sites, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon and James Monroe’s Highland.
ARtGlass® is collaborating with Epson, the provider of the Moverio® AR smart eyewear platform, and with leaders of iconic cultural sites, to deliver the groundbreaking experiences to visitors. ARtGlass and Epson have already provided over 500,000 experiences at dozens of museums, palaces and ruins throughout Europe.
“When we first launched ARtGlass in Italy, we knew that if we could overcome the challenges of bringing wearable AR tours to the Old World, we’d be ready for the New World,” said Greg Werkheiser, ARtGlass co-founder and CEO, in Washington, D.C. “We are thrilled now to help revolutionize cultural tours at U.S. sites.”
Highland, the William & Mary-owned historic home of President James Monroe, has become the first U.S. site to launch the AR tours. Mount Vernon AR tours premiere this Spring.
Visitors enjoying ARtGlass tours roam through augmented environments, inside and out, while 3D holograms, videos, pictures and text appear amidst real-world art, artifacts, architecture and landscapes — completely hands-free.
Since 1860, more than 85 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon the most popular historic home in America. Rob Shenk, Senior Vice President for Visitor Engagement, said: “The ARtGlass platform will give our guests an exciting new way to experience our historic landscape and architecture at Mount Vernon. Washington loved the latest technology, and many of our guests do as well. No doubt, through ARtGlass, we will be able to tell the Mount Vernon story in a new and compelling way.”
At James Monroe’s Highland, the historic site that made headlines last year with the discovery of a lost presidential home, Executive Director Sara Bon-Harper said she is focused on augmented reality’s ability to reach new audiences. “AR brings historical figures to life and shares the sense of discovery here at Highland in ways that are both educational and entertaining. We expect to draw more—and more diverse—visitors.”
“From the beginning, it was our intention to deliver real-world, near-term benefits to the public through the Moverio AR smart glasses,” said Anna Jen, director of augmented reality solutions, Epson. “ARtGlass software and strategies, coupled with our glasses, will enable millions of visitors to U.S. historic sites to enjoy transformative experiences.”
“U.S. museums and cultural sites attract more visits annually than pro sporting events and theme parks combined,” said ARtGlass CEO Werkheiser. “The future of history is bright.”