Interactive, augmented reality app promotes Amelia Island.
Press Release: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has announced the launch of a new interactive experience utilizing the latest in Augmented Reality (AR) technology to add another dimension of fun for visitors as they explore Amelia Island, Florida. Using the camera lens of their mobile device, visitors can scan special signage at six different locations around the island to trigger custom-designed, three-dimensional animations. From downtown Fernandina Beach to American Beach, each location activation uses authentic characters and stories to bring to life some interesting aspect of Amelia’s many unique natural or historical treasures. The new on-island activations are the latest addition to the CVB’s groundbreaking Amelia Island Mobile App released earlier this year, forever changing the way visitors can experience the destination.
“From real-time language translation to 3D mapping apps, augmented reality is just the latest way smartphones and mobile technology are transforming travel,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island CVB. ‘We’re excited to be among the first to use AR to dramatically enhance the way visitors can interact with travel-planning resources – and with the destination itself.”
This past spring, the CVB released its official 2019 Visitor Guide and an innovative Augmented Reality app that enables visitors to activate a variety of custom-designed digital content right from the pages of the first-of-its-kind visitor guide. After installing the free app, readers can access a compelling combination of 360-degree time lapse video, 3D animations, user-generated content and other digital content revealing the island’s natural beauty, culture, history and other “spirited” surprises.
“With the visitor guide, you just point your mobile device at the cover and an animated beachgoer comes to life to welcome you in a three-dimensional shoreline setting, complete with sun, sand, surf and local sea life,” said Langley. “Whether experienced in the printed guide or in person at the various locations around the island, the AR activations are entertaining, informative and thoroughly engaging.”
An interactive map using GPS and Bluetooth beacon technology helps visitors navigate to the experiences around the island, where they will find attractive new signage indicating where and how to participate. For instance, outside the Welcome Center in downtown Fernandina Beach, a statue of 19th-century trailblazer David Yulee comes to life to share some local insights; all visitors do is scan the signage and point their mobile device at the statue. At beach access 39, the same simple process lets visitors experience the wonder of baby sea turtles emerging from their nest. Other AR experiences include an encounter with The Beach Lady at Nana Dune on American Beach; a chat with the portrait of General Duncan Clinch at the 19th-century fort that bears his name; a 360-degree tour of Florida’s oldest lighthouse; and the virtual passing of a shrimping boat on the waters of the Amelia River.
Other AR activations in the visitor guide allow trip planners to virtually explore some of Amelia Island’s other iconic landmarks and settings, giving the travel planning process a high-tech touch of island magic. For example, in the dining section of the guide, app users can activate 2-D video cards from some of the island’s award-winning restaurants. In the history and culture section, 360-degree photos let readers virtually explore historic Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach, discovering hidden content that appears as they approach specific “hotspots.”
The on-island activations, AR mobile app and Visitor Guide were all developed in conjunction with Miles Partnership, a Florida-based strategic marketing company focused exclusively on travel and tourism. Throughout the six-month development process, CVB staff worked closely with content, art and development teams at Miles, as they developed custom 3D animations and effects that deliver the best possible quality and performance for mobile users.
“It was a genuine pleasure working with the experts and trendsetters at Miles Partnership to develop what I believe is the next evolution in vacation planning resources,” said Amy Boek, chief marketing officer at the Amelia Island CVB. “Beyond the technical and artistic demands of the project, we needed a partner who could develop a product that is authentic and true to the Amelia Island brand, and that allows us to modify and expand the AR experience as new content is generated. Miles really delivered.”
The AR app gives the Amelia Island CVB nearly endless opportunities to add new features and content well into the future. “As the technology continues to evolve, we will be adding even more exciting surprises our visitors will love,” added Boek.
The first time the app opens, a short tutorial will introduce users to how it works. In addition to the fun AR activations, visitors can use the app to access a growing library of articles, videos, photos and more to help them plan the perfect Amelia Island escape. The app also gives users the ability to sign up for e-newsletters, link to the AmeliaIsland.com website, contact the Amelia Island CVB and follow them on social media.
Designed to work with iPhone (iOS 11 or higher) and Android (version 7.0 or higher) devices with augmented reality capabilities, the app also offers an enhanced travel planning experience for earlier versions and older devices, with rich content and bonus features.
To order the new official Visitor Guide and to download the Amelia Island App, go to AmeliaIsland.com/app.