New view for Bastion Point

9:23 am on 19 December 2017

An augmented reality app launching this week will immerse visitors to Bastion Point in the culture and history of the location.

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Photo: Supplied / Vimeo

The Auckland Virtual Tours app, funded by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, will give an interactive experience for the 500,000 people who visit the popular Auckland tourist spot each year.

The app provides a self guided tour of Bastion Point centered around four stories linked to four main compass points.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei business development manager Jamie Cook said the app works similarly to the once-popular Pokemon Go app with a dose of hapū history and customs.

Mr Cook said capitalising on tourism was another reason the hapū developed the app.

"We're not surrounded by farms, fisheries and forest so we're really mindful and cognisant [of] future-proofing ourselves."

Mr Cook said the project also gave the hapū the chance to start creating their own digital content and set the tone for future generations.

"We don't want them being [just] digital consumers - we want them absolutely to be the developers of these kinds of technology."

The app was developed over six months by Auckland company Method and M Theory, which specialises in augemented reality and virtual reality projects.

Method and M Theory managing director Samantha Ramlu said the technology had progessed a long way in a short amount of time.

"Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei were really open to story-telling and in a really unique way - some of it was quite cutting edge."

There were some challenges involved in working with oral history and sourcing archival material, she said.

"A lot of the stories that we wanted were in people's heads so there wasn't a lot of archival information - we couldn't go on Wikpedia and Google and search a lot of this information."

The app will be available this week and comes in three languages: Māori, Mandarin and English.

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