5G industry news Technologies | Augmented, Virtual & Mixed Reality

App to provide immersive and interactive experience at country park

  • 3 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 15 Sep 2021
  • Last modified 15 Sep 2021
A new mobile phone app created by a professor at Nottingham Trent University and her team will provide an interactive treasure hunt around Nottinghamshire’s Rufford Abbey Country Park.

Tag in the Park’ plans to increase visitor numbers by enhancing the visitor experience and also promote wellbeing by encouraging friends and families to be physically active.

Through the use of physical wireless sensors located around the popular green space, Tag in the Park tasks users with identifying a set of key places and tagged objects around the park, creating both a physical and virtual game world in a real and open environment.

The app utilises tagging, wireless and camera features to interact with wireless sensors called ‘SmartSpots’ that send challenges, quizzes and prompts directly to the user’s mobile device.

Previous location-based games for mobile devices such as the hugely popular Pokémon Go (Niantic and Nintendo, 2016) have shown how location-based discovery games can bring people together through exploration, exercise and entertainment.

Rufford Abbey Country Park, operated by Parkwood Leisure on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, will act as a trial site for the Tag in the Park platform. The team and its partners have future plans to implement the app and its technology in more parks, forests and other tourist attractions in the Nottinghamshire area.

Tag in the Park is a mobile experience that is part of Connected Forest, one of eight national 5G programmes and is funded by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and led by Nottinghamshire County Council.

One of the key goals of the projects that are part of the Connected Forest is to explore emerging technologies empowered by 5G to enrich user experiences when they visit trial sites.

Eiman Kanjo, Professor of Pervasive Computing in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, and the creator of Tag in the Park, said: “The Tag in the Park app encourages people to visit attractions by providing engaging activities and challenges. The app also promotes exercise by helping users to be active in green open spaces like Rufford Abbey Country Park.

“In the future we plan to utilise the platform in more locations such as other country parks, museums, shopping malls, amusement parks, schools and gardens.”

Kieran Wood, a Research Fellow at the Smart Sensing lab within Nottingham Trent University, who has been developing the app ready for launch, said: “The app currently works on both Android and iOS phones and we are keen to receive users’ feedback to improve future versions of the game.”

Nottinghamshire County Council is coordinating the wider Connected Forest project. Councillor Keith Girling, chairman of the county council’s Economic Development and Asset Management Committee said,

“We are proud to lead 5G Connected Forest and Tag in the Park is one of many exciting innovations which aim to put Nottinghamshire at the forefront of the digital world.

“This is more important than ever as we look to boost our post-pandemic economy through tourism, digital skills and innovation, so it’s great to see this being trialled at one of our most popular county parks.

“This app will help make Rufford Abbey Country Park an even more attractive place to visit thanks to this new engaging and educational experience.”

To celebrate the launch of Tag in the Park, within the app there is the opportunity to win Amazon vouchers for users who find 10 key locations out of 16 at Rufford Abbey Country Park and complete a short questionnaire for user feedback.

For more details about the project and the latest news, please visit Tag in the Park website.

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