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HCF Blog

Augmented reality adds another string to Hebcelt bow

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We are always looking at new and innovative ways to promote the festival and make it a more enjoyable and inclusive experience for everyone. This week we introduced augmented reality technology, which is an exciting way for our audience to interact with the event. For those attending HebCelt it will provide an instant method of getting information about the festival, video about artists, programme details and even the ability to book tickets via a virtual box office. But for others who can’t make it this year, the technology will allow them to stay in touch and enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the HebCelt party, all from their phone or tablet. It’s a remarkable piece of technology and for us to be one of the first festivals to use it shows we are ready to embrace new ideas for the good of the event and our supporters. It’s quite strange, but great fun, using the app for the first time. It can work with signs, posters, adverts and on buildings - anywhere the festival’s 2017 logo is featured - bringing printed materials to life and getting video footage, music and information on the spot. All you have to do is download a free recognition software app, then point your mobile device at the logo to trigger videos. The app ‘reads’ the logo and reveals a computer-generated image or video to your phone or tablet screen. Offering this AR experience will add an extra feature to HebCelt this year and it will also mean people around the world can interact with the festival and capture a flavour of its atmosphere at any time. The initiative has already been praised by Iocal MP angus MacNeil, who says it is forward-thinking and exciting, and one of our sponsors, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who say it’s great to see digital technology being used as a way to present new opportunities. As the build-up to the festival continues, I can’t wait to see people wandering around Stornoway pointing their phones at buildings and posters. We have to continue to look at fresh ways to engage with our audience and attract new people, and this exciting innovation does just that.