VISTA-AR meeting – National Trust

19th April, Lanhydrock

On April 19th members of the University of Exeter met with Ian Marsh, the National Trust’s General Manager for West Cornwall, to discuss how VISTA AR experiences can enhance the Tin Coast visitor experience. The Tin Coast comprises a 7 mile area between Pendeen lighthouse and Cape Cornwall, and is part of a designated UNESCO World Heritage site – Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (2006). It receives approximately 300,000 visitors per year overall, and comprises three main points of interest: Levant Mine, Botallack Mine, and Cape Cornwall.

The aim of the Tin Coast – VISTA AR project is to bring back a sense of how the Tin Coast would have looked during the mining period. The area now feels partially reclaimed by nature and visitors remark on its natural beauty, peace and clean air. This is in stark contrast to its dirty, noisy industrial heyday. The AR experience will allow the working landscape to tell the stories of the area without the need for interpretation panels and other physical tools in the landscape.

During the meeting, three experiences were discussed:

* In-situ landscape AR – Using a smartphone/tablet, visitors can explore an AR overlay of certain patches of Tin Coast landscape to see what the region looked like during its 1840s industrial heyday.

* Ex-situ AR – Using a smartphone/tablet and a model, visitors can view an interactive AR simulation of the entire Tin Coast landscape and discover further information through interactive software.

* Underground immersive room – An immersive VR experience of visiting the inside of a mine tunnel and discovering the underground during the height of its production.

Whilst still at an early stage, the meeting set the basis for further discussion about new opportunities to improve interpretation of the Tin Coast and enhance overall visitor experience.