August 24 2022

Public can see Swindon in a different light with free virtual reality events this weekend

An Augmented Reality Swindon

This coming weekend, people in Swindon will get the chance to travel back and forward in time. It’s all part of a free augmented and virtual reality immersive storytelling experience.

As part of the national Unboxed Festival, Swindon Libraries is one of only fifteen UK library services chosen to host StoryTrails. The event uses cutting edge technology to bring local stories and places to life in completely new ways.

The experience will run over the bank holiday weekend. All day on Saturday, 27 and Sunday, 28 August in Central Library. And also in the town centre.

An Augmented Reality Swindon
An Augmented Reality Swindon

What it involves

Visitors will be able to try an immersive cinema experience or see the local area in 3D. There’ll be the chance to hear fascinating stories about the area, from local people, told on a 3D story map of Swindon.

There’ll be seven virtual reality (VR) headset experiences created especially for StoryTrails. One of them has an award nomination.

The augmented reality trail around the town centre will take people on a story journey moving through real life performers and virtual characters.

Allie Brown, Swindon Libraries’ Development and Innovation Manager, said: ‘This is fantastic for Swindon, especially that it’s completely free and accessible to everyone. You don’t need any special knowledge or equipment as the StoryTrails team are providing everything. That’s including staff to help guide people through the experiences. It’s a great way of making exciting new technologies – like virtual reality and the 3D internet – free and accessible to all.

An exciting event

The augmented reality trail is especially exciting – think Swindon Pokemon Go! There will be a physical portal outside Central Library where the trail starts. The mobile app, will lead you at your own pace to different story points along a route with a choice of story trails to follow.

‘Using a mix of augmented reality experiences that remix the BBC and British Film Institute archive, you can experience stories where they happened. And actually be part of the experience.’

When people visit Central Library there’ll be different installations and experiences to try. One notable one will immerse you, in a unique, virtual 3D map of Swindon, featuring audio stories by local residents.

It’s also a chance to see Swindon in a different way – bringing the town’s history and heritage to life. The StoryTrails team has worked with a wide range of local people to find new voices and their untold stories. Stories that have made Swindon the place it is today.

Allie added: ‘There’ll be something for everyone. Whether you’re old or young, tech-savvy or a technophobe, you can turn up and try it for free. It’s something that different generations can enjoy together.

 ‘If you can’t make the event, we’re working with the StoryTrails team to keep some of the equipment in Central Library. So we’ll be able to offer virtual reality experiences in future.’

Councillor Oladapo Ibitoye, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: ‘This is a great event for people of all ages to discover the history of Swindon and the town centre.

‘It’s important that we celebrate our heritage and this is one of the ways people can learn more. I hope more of these events will start to come forward in the future.’

Find out more including the locations and times on the libraries’ Facebook event page or website. 

See the libraries’ StoryTrails Facebook event page for updates about the main event. 

Further info


See also: https://swindonlink.com/lifestyle/storytrail-unboxed-swindon/

‘Swindon’s most famous photography couple, William and Mary Hooper, who documented the buildings and people of the town in the early 1900s, are the subject of the trail coming to Swindon on 27 & 28 August.

The trail, narrated by BBC Radio Wiltshire presenter Ben Prater, is one of hundreds told through ground-breaking multimedia technologies, as part of the UK’s largest immersive storytelling experience, StoryTrails, this summer. 

Born Again Swindonian Logo

Sign up to receive awesome Swindon content in your inbox, every week.