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Historic home of President Monroe becomes first U.S. location to feature wearable AR tours

by Brittani Tuttle
AR

ARtGlass uses animation, art, photos and text to help tell the story of historic sites in an all-new way through augmented reality.

For the first time in the U.S., augmented reality (AR) tours using smart glasses will bring the past to life for visitors of major historic sites, including James Monroe’s Highland and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

ARtGlass, a pioneer in AR storytelling software and support for art, cultural and historic places, is collaborating with Epson, a provider of the Moverio AR smart eyewear, along with leaders of cultural and historical sites to deliver this unique experience to 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 at Epson. “ARtGlass software and strategies, coupled with our glasses, will enable millions of visitors to U.S. historic sites to enjoy transformative experiences.”

ARtGlass and Epson have already provided more than 500,000 experiences at dozens of locations including palaces, museums 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 historic, William & Mary-owned home of President James Monroe, is the first site in the U.S. to launch AR tours with ARtGlass. AR tours at George Washington’s Mount Vernon will begin this spring.

Guests who experience ARtGlass tours will get to roam through augmented environments while 3D holograms, pictures, videos and text appear alongside real-world artifacts, architecture, art and landscapes.

Since 1860, over 85 million people have visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon, making it the most popular historic home in the country.

“The ARtGlass platform will give our guests an exciting new way to experience our historic landscape and architecture at Mount Vernon,” said Rob Shenk, senior vice president for visitor engagement. “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 focus is on AR’s ability to reach new audiences, according to Sara Bon-Harper, the executive director.

“AR brings historical figures to life and shares the sense of discovery here at Highland in ways that are both educational and entertaining,” said Bon-Harper. “We expect to draw more – and more diverse – visitors.”

“U.S. museums and cultural sites attract more visits annually than pro sporting events and theme parks combines,” said Werkheiser. “The future of history is bright.”

Check out a video demonstrating the use of the ArtGlass smart glasses at James Monroe’s Highland below. For more information on this new technology, visit artglassus.com.

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