The first Augmented Reality IFITTtalk@Manchester took place on the 25th of November and put in agenda the main trends, challenges and applications of augmented reality in the tourism domain as well as discussion of research results on Augmented Reality conducted by Creative Augmented Realities Hub.
More than 50 industry experts and academics attended the event hosted by Dr. Timothy Jung and Dr. Mandy tom Dieck, from Manchester Metropolitan University at Barclays Rise Manchester.
Augmented reality has become the next big thing on the technology market and more and more organisations and destinations offer mobile augmented reality applications to overlay digital content into the users’ direct environment. Augmented reality has been identified to effectively improve users’ experience in various contexts. More recently, economic benefits were started being explored. This workshop interdisciplinary explored latest trends, benefits and challenges in the context of augmented reality and smart tourism.
Presenters from companies such as Marketing Manchester, Barclays, Hobs Studio, Ashmolean Museum and Skignz talked about how augmented reality tours could enhance destination visits, increase income generations, aid the construction of tourism attractions as well as provide festivalgoers with a tool to find friends in large crowds.
Theoretically, Professor Bob Stone from the University of Birmingham delivered a keynote speech on Virtual and Augmented Realities in Cultural Heritage: Opportunities, Challenges and the Human Factor and Alex Gibson from DIT talked about augmented reality and education. The university of Cambridge was represented by Ronald Haynes who presented his ideas on mixed realities and museums.
The event was accompanied with demonstrations by Draw & Code, Centre Screen and the Creative Augmented Realities Hub, which all showcased augmented and virtual reality application using devices such as Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift and Google Glass.
The event finished with an introduction to next years’ AR Innovation Conference in Dublin and an IFITT Hangout on Air https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tpwjedSRWQ