App Uses Augmented Reality To Restore WTC Towers
The tenth anniversary of 9-11 brings back questions, memories, and for many a heart-felt tug to visit New York City someday, to visit the “footprint” memorial built to commemorate the tragic losses of the day. I know for me the tug becomes stronger with each passing year.
For many who do visit the footprint, looking over the acre-sized water-filled deep squares, it is surely difficult to look up and comprehend the sheer size of the two towers that fell that day, or the emptiness in the skyline left from the horrible event’s wake. Brian August hopes to change this.
Augmented reality apps allow users to overlay a variety of objects or bits of information over what they see through the lens of their mobile device cameras. Augmented reality can lead a lone tourist through a guided journey by providing multimedia in front of artworks in a museum, or buildings on an ancient street.
August has created an augmented reality app that will overlay the silhouette of World Trade Center 1 and 2, the overarching twin towers that once stood as the tallest buildings in NYC, when looking through the camera lens of a smart phone. Move to any part of NYC, turn toward the “footprint” and turn on the app to find how the towers would’ve looked from exactly where you are standing - the overlay “moves” with you.
August hopes to help tourists sense the scope of the twin towers’ size, in order to drive home some measure of his own personal loss. “My dad got married there,” said August in a CBC interview that will air this Sunday. “I used to see (the towers) from driving into the city with my family when I was a kid.”
August’s augmented reality app, called 110 Stories, allows users to also take their own photos that include the silhouette in the background, and to even comment on their feelings about 9-11, their memories of the day, and why they came to photograph the area. “They’re the feelings that, essentially, we forgot and were lost because the icon of the towers were missing,” said August, adding “by putting them back in, you kind of prompt people, you cajole them to come forward and share their stories.”