BBC’s Augmented Reality Mobile Application Civilisations AR Puts History In Your Hand

by ARandVRTech

BBC’s Civilisations AR mobile application aids your imagination by bringing ancient arts & artefacts from all over the world in your living room with the help of Augmented reality for an immersive experience and learning.

Be it world history, religions, culture, architecture or ancient artefacts, the stories are always so captivating that they have the power to catapult our imagination back in times. BBC’s Civilisations AR is a collaboration between BBC, Nexus studio and more than 30 museums from across UK. This application was designed to mark the launch of BBC’s landmark arts and culture series called Civilisations.

At the moment the augmented reality application has 41 artefacts from world over which you can see via AR application on your mobile device. The application augments these artefacts in your own surroundings. There are quite a few immersive actions that you can perform to experience the full potential of the application. You can increase or decrease the size, turn them around 360 degrees, adjust along the wall, throw on some light, listen or read through the descriptions. You can also click creative photographs after augmenting these art pieces in your beautiful surroundings.

These augmented reality artefacts are classified into categories namely, early civilisations, Human body, faith, encounters, progress and modernity. In progress and modernity you may see Sundial from Liverpool road station and in encounters you may see a Japanese gunpowder flask. You can also view Corinthian helmet from Greece circa. 500-600 BC, you can view Mummy in the Egyptian coffin circa. 1525-1470 BC or Buddha statue, 100-299 AD from south east Asia to name a few.

Even though the application is quite enjoyable while being informative and the quality of AR display through the application is also good but the navigation is not very intuitive. The placement of artefacts in the user’s field of vision are not very accurate. One cannot move around the pieces. You can still move them vertically but shifting them horizontally is not possible. Once displayed, since you cannot move the art pieces around, you will have to start over to try and place the objects where you want them to!

This application has immense potential to be used by kids and teachers for imparting education. BBC can take it forward by adding more Historical and cultural content to enable this application for classroom and learning.

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