HisTOURy is an augmented reality application that allows a user to break the boundaries of physical time and space. Too often do we only think of what is directly in front of us. This narrow view of our existence prevents us from fully immersing ourselves in our environment. Not everyone has time to visit the museum, so what if the museum was everywhere? Ignorance is bliss, but serendipity can be blissful too. Let’s make the old new by bringing the old into the new. Let’s turn what has happened into what is happening now. Sometimes you don’t have to travel to another country or to a museum to discover something new. Sometimes you just have to look around you. Our application can be successfully applied into the multi-billion dollar tourism industry, or into the 600 billion dollar museum industry.
Our application’s features are as follows:
Using google maps, we will be able to track and lead people to certain historical sites. Once there, holding up the Google Tango to a (or looking through the Hololens) building will ignite the following information: A.) A text layered onto the building describing its story (i.e. year built, historical significance, etc.). B.) An image, when available, will be layered over the building to allow people to see what it looked like decades or centuries ago. This image can come in the form of a painting, daguerreotype, calotype, or photograph or even a 3d rendering of a building’s future plans or passed past (there are 3D architectural archives that include digital recreations of demolished buildings). C.) Audio integration. This feature of the application will allow users to immerse themselves in historical sound (i.e. playing sound recordings obtained from the Library Of Congress of historical venues). Our sound feature will also break language barriers since it will allow foreign users to explore a city via their native tongue. This will break a traveler’s reliance on expensive tour guides, who might not even offer tours in their language (most tour companies only offer tours in Mandarin, Spanish, French, and English! There are 6,500 languages (yes Portuguese is a language)).
Community Building: Personalized contributions to the app. HisTOURy will not only focus on one commercialized and significantly historical path since people will be able to upload their own stories. Users everywhere can add accessible information about their own homes. Off the beaten path, you will be able to discover suburban history. When did this family move in? What did their neighborhood look like two decades ago? What about this park? It used to be segregated? And that pole over there? It was smashed into by a drunk driver in 1980? Stories are everywhere, we shouldn't limit ourselves to the stories that have been labeled significant. Significance is subjective and it can be personally personal. Beauty is is most beautiful inside of the trivial.
How To Commercialize:
- Schools-Field Trips can now occur in an immediate locality. Instead of spending money on transportation and a tour guide, tours can now occur with access to the required technology. Renting out the equipment will allow us to monetize access to HisTOURy. We understand that not all may have access to the AR technologies of our today, so until we get to tomorrow, we can rent out the hardware necessary to access our software.
- Museums-Museums are currently limited to their walls. What if a museum could extend itself to the borders of the city it inhabits? Museums with a historical emphasis (i.e. Smithsonian, etc.) might be interested in extending their historical expertise onto the application. This way they can brand themselves for miles and miles. Catering to a museum’s brand might also help us cross the inaccessible bridge. As of now, most people do not have access to the devices that would host HisTOURy. In the same way that tour companies provide segways for tours, museums would probably be interested in providing the devices that would amplify their popularity. Let’s bring museums into the modern age and into the streets.
- Travel Agencies, who might also be our competitors- Travel agency apps are hot as heat right now. From AirBnB to Triviago to Expedia to whatever other good example you can think of, money is made. These apps want to keep users reliant on them for experiences. For instance, on Expedia, one can reserve a flight, rent a car, and find a hotel. Some, like AirBnB, connect users with personal and professional tours. This last example proves that keeping people on these applications is a sought after feature. HisTOURy is another great way of doing this. Let people get to a city and then continue to use your application to explore it. But, we might also be disrupting this market to the point that we become a direct competitor with these giant giants. So, it might also be wise to team up with tour companies like Artisans of Leisure or Butterfield & Robinson. Imagine if they could provide the technology to their tour participants, like segway tour companies do. The experience would definitely be accentuated.
- Cities-Another potential source of funding might come from the same localities we’d be covering. If New York, for instance, would want to attract tourists (although they don’t really need the help), then they might be interested in funding the development of a “Old New York” package or plugin for the HisTOURy application. HisTOURy is especially great at guiding people through a specifically significant path. So, New York might want us to emphasize specific parts of the city to shepherd tourists to particular hot spots. Or, oppositely, they might want to guide users to an often neglected portion of the city. Remember that HisTOURy is all about finding those hidden dusty gems.
- Small Businesses- A small business might want to attract people to their locality. To do this, they could hire out our startup to create historical hotspots around them.