5GRIT & Alston Apps

by Katherine Pearson

Using mobile apps to grow the tourism economy in Alston


5GRIT adventures in Alston

 

Smart tourism

We have recently been involved in a 5G Rural Integrated Testbed programme (5GRIT). This programme, which is part of the SMART Tourism programme, was funded by DCMS.

 

North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

We were commissioned by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership to create two mobile apps that could be used to support the growth of the tourism economy in the Alston area. Both apps were also designed to ‘test’ the benefits of super high-speed connectivity – 5G.

 

Alston Explorer – iOS and Android app

This app, which was designed in collaboration with Alston Moor Federation School, is designed for active families. The aim of Alston Explorer is to encourage families to stay longer, explore further and discover more about Alston during their visit. By providing two different trails, 18 places of interest to explore, 18 tasks to tackle and 18 rewards to collect this app is focused on doing just that!

 

Alston Time Traveller – iOS and Android app

This app uses Augmented Reality (AR) to deliver an engaging and fun visitor experience. The aim of Alston Time Traveller is to encourage visitors to visit more than one attraction in the Alston area.

Users are invited to take a tour that visits three sites – Nenthead Mines, Ninebanks Youth Hostel and Alston Market Cross. At each site, a character from the past is ready to share their stories. Translucent images in the app guide users to the ‘right’ location. Then, when the user matches the digital image with the real world view, the character suddenly appears. The user can still see their location through their phone screen, the only difference is that a character from the 1850s is also standing in the space!

This experience brings a smile to the face of people of all ages and is a great way to share historical content.

 

Visit Alston

You can find both apps on the App Store and Google Play Store. Both apps, especially Alston Explorer, contain a great deal of great content about Alston and its history. However, it is only fair to point out that you must visit Alston to unlock the tasks in the Alston Explorer and trigger the appearance of the characters in the Alston Time Traveller. Well, what did you expect from apps designed to encourage visits to the Alston area!


Published by:
Katherine Pearson

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