A new App – Historic 'Tamworth AR Trails' – is using augmented reality to offer a new and exciting way to discover the history of Tamworth.
Hear stories told by some of Tamworth’s historical figures such as Sir Robert Peel, Etienne Bruno Hamel, Thomas Cook and William MacGregor, to name but a few. Discover the resilience of the town and how its hard working people have survived throughout the ages.
The Historic Tamworth AR Trail App tells of some of the town’s lesser known intriguing stories. Having launched on 13th December 2021 as part of the ‘Welcome Back’ programme, the app transports the user back in time, taking them on a walk around the town and unveiling the hidden lives of some of the town’s most fascinating characters.
How it works
Learn all about Tamworth's rich history through a range of different animations, photographs and live character actors.
The app comes with a fully interactive map and guide on how to access each point. Simply follow the map to the correct locations then scan the location with your phone and wait for the magic to happen!
Step 1 - Search for 'Tamworth AR trails' in the Google play or Apple app store (whichever you use). Or click on one of the following links if you are currently on your device: direct link to app on Google Play store, direct link to app on Apple app store. Then install the app onto your device (make sure to do this over a secure Wifi connection for a fast download)
Step 2 - Head to the centre of town and open up the app! We recommend starting at St Editha's square.
Step 3 - Follow the prompts and interactive map on the screen to walk to each location.
Step 4 - Once at a location, follow the prompts on the screen. Point your smartphone at the suggested area then watch as the historic location comes to life!
Step 5 - Visit all the locations around the town centre to complete the app.
Step 6 - Post your pictures, selfies and reviews on our socials. We would love to see what you thought of the trail!
Step 7 - Once you have completed all 16 locations on the trail, it would be extremely helpful if you could complete the feedback questionnaire, your feedback and comments are extremely valued. - https://www.surveymonkey.co.
Watch the promo!
Depending on the make and model of your phone, you may not be able to find or download our app in the app stores.
This is because your phone might not support ARKit or ARCore, which is required to run the Augmented Reality parts of the app - associated with whether or not your phone has an accelerometer and/or a gyroscope. The majority of current generation smartphones should meet those standards, as do multiple older models - generally, most phones purchased after 2017 will meet these criteria.
This list shows which Android phone models are compatible with ARCore: https://developers.google.com/ar/devices
This list shows which iOS models can run ARKit: https://developers.google.com/ar/devices#ios
We'd really like your feedback– if you are unable to find the app using your device, please let us know the make and model of phone you are using. We will be using this information to guide development going forward.
Augmented Reality App FAQs
How do I download the app?
Download the app on your Apple or Android device by searching ‘Tamworth AR Trails’ in the search bar of the App Store or Google Play store.
Is the app free?
Yes, the app is entirely free and has no in-app purchases.
Does the app use lots of battery?
Game-based and AR apps do use quite a lot of battery, so make sure your device has full charge before you embark on your trail. Perhaps make sure someone else in your group has a device with them in case the battery runs low and you need a phone to coordinate your return home!
Does the app take a long time to download?
The app will download quickly via WiFi or a 4 or 5G connection but, because of the AR capabilities, it is quite large and it’s therefore recommended to download the app where you have a WiFi connection if at all possible.
Why can’t I download the app?
If the app isn’t available for you to download on the App Store or Google Play, it’s likely that your device is not compatible with augmented reality apps. Try using an alternative device, or a friend or family member’s device with permission.
Is the app family friendly?
Yes, the app content is family friendly. Children should always be supervised by an adult when using the app, to watch out for those around you and the child using the app, and to make sure that the space is free of hazards.
How do I know where I’m going/how do I find the characters?
We have used GPS to track your location within the Town Centre. On the map view, you’ll see an icon moving along the trail route (the icon is you!) and this will help you find your way along the trail and identify where the virtual characters and content is located.
How do I use Augmented Reality?
AR places a digital character into the real world setting in front of you. The app will automatically open your camera view to trigger the characters when you arrive at each location. It will look for a flat surface to put the character onto, so please follow the instructions carefully and point your device at the ground until the character is spawned.
I’m having difficulty triggering the AR characters, what can I do?
Make sure you stay in the vicinity of the location but reposition yourself slightly to a more open area, making sure you have adequate floor space without obstacles. If you are still having trouble, close and re-open the app to try again. Augmented reality is more effective in daylight and won’t trigger if light levels are very low.
Can I share my photos on social media?
Yes, the app lets you capture an image of your character once you’ve found them. Try to take a great photo of your family or friends with the virtual characters and share your favourites on social media using the hashtags #AmazingTamworth #VisitTamworth.
Help us to improve the app by filling in this very short feedback form.