Supporting rural tourism with mobile apps – 5GRIT
We recently took part 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. These apps were also designed to ‘test’ the benefits of 5G connectivity.
Alston Explorer – iOS and Android app
Alston Moor Federation school collaborated in the design of this app for active families. Alston Explorer aims 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. Alston Time Traveller aims 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. See-through images in the app guide users to the ‘right’ location. Then, when the user matches the digital image with the natural 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This experience brings a smile to the face of people of all ages and is a great way to share historical content.
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!