Experience Real History (ERH): Alamo Edition is a cutting edge, augmented reality narrative (AR), available for students, early adopters, and researchers of history. Focused on the legendary battle at the Alamo in 1836, this breakthrough title is designed for use with smartphones, tablets, and provides a one-of-a-kind curriculum resource for museums and educators. Development of the application required a deep commitment to technical innovation and intense focus on historical accuracy. Top historians, writers, and architects were paired with Altuit’s best-in-class 3D modelers, storytellers, animators and AR-VR specialists. Requiring a year in development, the media rich application provides forty spectacular scenes that capture the truth of the Alamo story, allowing users to “drone” into forensically accurate scenes, viewing the legendary Alamo from variable height and perspective. ERH is working with museums and schools to bring the power of AR to the classroom. The technology is already in use at the Witte Museum (a Smithsonian affiliate) in San Antonio, where it provides a ghosted AR overlay for the museum’s famous miniature of the Alamo compound.
The challenge for Cross-Reality (XR) product development–virtual, augmented, and mixed reality–is daunting. Ongoing revisions to Apple’s ARkit and Google’s ARcore regularly interrupt the project development cycles, generating an ongoing need for research and discovery. At Altuit, Chipp Walters serves as the team leader for tech innovation. Walters shares his discoveries at university workshops and lectures, as well as assisting in the creation of VR labs for some of the largest companies in the United States. Altuit’s recent innovations include a “virtual” elevator that conveys the AR explorer to a position roughly 30-feet above the scene. From this overhead position the viewer is free to examine the environment as well as the actions taking place, below. This “elevator” required the additional creation of visualization technology where high resolution visual integrity remains the same, regardless of the viewer’s perspective.
Experience Real History (ERH): Alamo Edition is the first mobile AR application of its magnitude (kind) to blend cutting edge technology with forensically accurate, dissertation-level content. Without a prior model for reference, the project required ongoing technical innovation linked to rigid scholarship. A development effort that originated as an application for smartphones and tablets then emerged as an active AR guide at the Alamo historical site in San Antonio. These breakthroughs were subsequently deployed for exhibit support at the Witte Museum, also in San Antonio. Finally, the AR experience has been recast as a media book. This fifty page book incorporates more than twenty “pop up” AR scenes in a narrative hybrid format that establishes a pathway for the future of publishing.