Beginning this summer, walk in the present while seeing some of Vancouver, Washington’s oldest historic sites with Now iTour, a self-guided, voice-activated virtual tour through the world’s first head-mounted tablet.
When RealWear, a San Jose–based knowledge transfer company, moved into the Artillery Barracks of Vancouver, they essentially became a part of The Historic Trust. With both organizations interested in bringing the local community together, a simple conversation birthed the grand idea of melding together the technology of RealWear, the history of Vancouver, Wash., and the talented students of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program.
Since fall 2017, Richard Burrows, director of community outreach and engagement at The Historic Trust, has worked with CMDC Director and Professor Dene Grigar’s students to develop three technology-based projects to provide engaging, interactive opportunities to experience the history of Vancouver in new ways. Each has been the focus of a senior seminar class, the last class taken before a CMDC senior graduates.
The first project was the Providence Academy Journey, an augmented reality experience, and the second, Unfolding Vancouver, an interactive game for tablets and smartphones. The graduating class of December 2018 developed Now iTour, an interactive tour given through a headset considered the world’s first head-mounted tablet, or the RealWear HMT-1. The company provided 10 headsets to The Historic Trust for the students to develop the application and for the Trust to give the tours.