Augmented Reality Comes to Amelia Island

Image of Amelia Island appExploring Fernandina Beach just went hi-tech thanks to the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). They recently launched a new interactive experience. Using the camera lens of your mobile device, custom, three-dimensional animations will be triggered by scanning special signage. From historic Fernandina Beach to American Beach, there are currently six locations that will bring to life many unique treasures.

“From real-time language translation to 3D mapping apps, augmented reality is just the latest way smartphones and mobile technology are transforming travel,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island CVB.

This past spring, the CVB released its official 2019 Visitor Guide and an innovative Augmented Reality app that enables visitors to activate a variety of custom-designed digital content right from the pages of the first-of-its-kind visitor guide. After installing the free app, readers can access a compelling combination of 360-degree time lapse video, 3D animations, user-generated content and other digital content revealing the island’s natural beauty, culture, history and other “spirited” surprises.

“With the visitor guide, you just point your mobile device at the cover and an animated beach-goer comes to life to welcome you in a three-dimensional shoreline setting, complete with sun, sand, surf and local sea life,” said Langley.

An interactive map using GPS and Bluetooth beacon technology helps visitors navigate around the island where they will find attractive new signage indicating where and how to participate. For instance, outside the Welcome Center in downtown Fernandina Beach, a statue of 19th-century trailblazer David Yulee comes to life to share some local insights; all visitors do is scan the signage and point their mobile device at the statue.

At beach access 39, the same simple process lets visitors experience the wonder of baby sea turtles emerging from their nest. Other AR experiences include an encounter with The Beach Lady at Nana Dune on American Beach; a chat with the portrait of General Duncan Clinch at the 19th-century fort that bears his name; a 360-degree tour of Florida’s oldest lighthouse; and the virtual passing of a shrimping boat on the waters of the Amelia River.

Other AR activations in the visitor guide allow trip planners to virtually explore some of Amelia Island’s other iconic landmarks and settings, giving the travel planning process a high-tech touch of island magic. For example, in the dining section of the guide, app users can activate 2-D video cards from some of the island’s award-winning restaurants. In the history and culture section, 360-degree photos let readers virtually explore historic Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach, discovering hidden content that appears as they approach specific “hotspots.”

The AR app gives the Amelia Island CVB nearly endless opportunities to add new features and content well into the future. The app is designed to work with iPhone (iOS 11 or higher) and Android (version 7.0 or higher) devices with augmented reality capabilities.

To order the new official Visitor Guide and to download the Amelia Island App, go to AmeliaIsland.com/app.

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