Local youngsters involved in app set to boost regional tourism

Wed 30 Jan 19

A group of Fife pupils from schools across the Kingdom have landed top prizes and the chance to be involved in a new augmented reality app, which will allow visitors to trace the footsteps of historic royals in the Heartlands of Fife.

In the Footsteps of Kings, which is due to launch in summer, will bring the area’s rich history to life through Augmented Reality allowing locals and tourists of all ages to interact with characters and take part in activities tailored to each location. The free app is being developed by British Augmented Reality company AliveLab who create the Mardles range of products specifically for Children. 

Pupils at schools across the Kingdom took part in two closely fought competitions; the first of which offered the opportunity to become the voiceover for the app’s lively Jester, a character which will narrate the trail through the Heartlands. Balwearie High School drama student Cerys Paton (S4) stood out with her energetic voice recording to be awarded first prize, also taking home an Android tablet.

Over 75 Primary four pupils entered the second competition to design the Jester’s clothes, which was won by Cameron Robertson from East Wemyss Primary School. Cameron’s use of vibrant colours impressed the judges, earning him first place and an Android tablet. There were three runners up; Lacy Russell and Mia Lumsle from Denend Primary School and Eleanor McDonald from East Wemyss Primary School who were all awarded with a goody bag.

Tourism in Fife is now worth £588 million to the economy and supports over 12,000 jobs. As revenues continue to increase year on year, the app is expected to attract even more locals and visitors to the area.

The project has received £90,000 funding as part of a grant from Scottish Enterprise to enhance visitor experiences in the region.

Commenting on the success of the school competitions and looking ahead to the summer launch, Fife Tourism Partnership Manager Ann Camus said: “The quality of entries for both competitions was extremely high, making it really difficult to choose the winners so the pupils should all be proud of themselves, whether they were awarded a prize or not.

“Momentum is building in Fife for the launch of the app this summer, and I am excited to welcome even more new and returning visitors to showcase our rich, cultural heritage in a modern way. Despite the economic and political uncertainty the UK is currently faced with, Fife’s tourism industry continues to prosper and I am confident it will continue to thrive over the coming months.”

Danny Cusick, Director, Food & Drink, Tourism and Textiles, Scottish Enterprise added “Research has shown that visitors to Scotland are looking for true authentic experiences. The wider Fife area has significant ancient royal connections and this project, through the use of digital technologies and business collaboration, will help to further develop the tourism offering that attracts both UK and international visitors.”  

Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of ALiveLab, James Murden, is leading the team responsible for developing the app. He commented: “We are thrilled to be part of something so unique and ground breaking in the Augmented Reality (AR) landscape. Technology is evolving faster than ever before, and the AR space can become crowded. But Fife is being brought to life in a dynamic, inspiring way to connect with visitors and enhance their experiences.”

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