Introducing the “Street Museum” smartphone app enhanced with VR contents to make your travels that much more memorable.
On September 21st, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. released a new smartphone app called “Street Museum” designed to enhance your visits to actual historical landmarks in Japan. While the app provides a wealth of information including audio commentary in both Japanese and English about a limited number of famous places, its real draw lies in its downloadable content, which only becomes accessible once you’ve physically entered a historical site, as seen in the following promotional clip:
At present, only six historical landmarks are currently available within the app, all related to castles and former castle sites: Edo Castle (Tokyo), Wakayama Castle (Wakayama) Fukuoka Caste (Fukuoka), Nagoya Castle (Saga), Takamatsu Castle (Kagawa), and the Yashimanoki ruins (Kagawa). However, seeing as the app was just released and is still in its first version, it’s hardly unreasonable to expect more and more locations to be supported in the near future. Presumably, other historical landmarks besides castles will also become available, true to the app’s name of being a street museum.
So what is the deal with the VR content, anyway? (It seems more like augmented reality content than virtual reality to us, but that’s what the company calls it.) In short, users can switch the app to “VR mode” once they’ve arrived at a historical site. This mode, coupled with their phones’ GPS function, allows them to bask in the surrounding scenery as it would have looked hundreds of years ago (especially suitable for those sites which no longer exist!):
▼ Be sure to take commemorative photos while in VR mode, too!
▼ You can also use the app to view both present-day and historical maps of the sites.
Finally, any VR content viewed on-site can be saved for browsing at a later time.
At the moment, Street Museum is only available for download on iOS devices, but an Android-compatible version is also in the works.