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Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt in Florence

Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt in Florence

Posted on July 2, 2024

In the context of the research and innovation project CAPHE “Communities and Artistic Participation in Hybrid Environments” we hosted the Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt “XR Urban Fabrics: Searching for Materialities in the City” in Florence, organised in collaboration with the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon and Jagiellonian University. This innovative event invited participants to explore the city in a unique and interactive way, blending digital and digitized sculptures with the urban environment using cutting-edge AR technology.

caphe xr florence team

Exploring Florence with Augmented Reality

The Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt took place in the heart of Florence, featuring a blend of technology and art that captivated participants. Digital pocket sculptures, placed using Augmented Reality, were located at several spots around the city. Participants receive a map that indicated the locations of the AR pocket sculptures and included QR codes. When participants arrived at a spot, activated the AR Image Scanner on their mobile phones and searched the area to find a specific sticker with the indicated image. When they targeted the image with their mobile devices, an AR pocket sculpture appeared. Participants visited all the spots indicated on the map, collecting clues along the way. Once they have visited all the locations, they could enter the Oratorio di Santa Maria Vergine della Croce al Tempio and unlock the final AR experience. This final experience featured an AR sculpture that appears as a wearable hat on the participants, allowing them to take AR selfies and post them online, showcasing the community created during the process. The event was designed to engage players in an immersive experience, where the boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds blurred.

The Creators

Narratologies created the Augmented Reality experience using our XR platform and collaborated with the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon to display 3D scanned sculptures from their first-year and master students. These sculptures, each representing unique materialities, were hidden in secret spots throughout the city, waiting to be discovered by keen-eyed participants. Participants were not alone in their quest. Researchers from Jagiellonian University used cutting-edge mapping methodologies to examine the behavioral characteristics of the participants in relation to the experience.

The Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt in Florence showcased the potential of augmented reality to create engaging and educational experiences. By combining technology, art, and history, the event offered participants a unique way to explore Florence’s rich cultural heritage.

As we look to the future, the success of this Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt opens up new possibilities for similar events in other cities. The blend of augmented reality and urban exploration is a powerful tool for engaging people with their surroundings. By continuing to innovate and collaborate, we can create more opportunities for people to discover and appreciate hidden treasures within their own cities.

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