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The British Museum brought to life for kids with mobile games

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The British Museum has teamed up with London based tech-company Gamar to bring to life objects, artifacts and priceless treasures of the past using the power of… mobile games.

Gamar has developed new technology that allows museum goers to superimpose graphics over what they see through the lens of their device, allowing visitors to explore the history and story of exhibits through interactive games.

The software, which is able to interact with real life objects and environments on display in London’s museums, triggers interactive, augmented reality gaming experiences that are then played through smart phones and tablets.

Visitors to the Parthenon Sculptures gallery will be able to play the ‘A gift for Athena’ game through the ‘Gamar’ application, which is available to download on IOS and Android, and which will soon include augmented reality games for a selection of museums and attractions.

The software has been developed to enhance the museum going experience for younger, technology savvy generations by ‘gamifying’ the learning experience.

Chris Michaels, Head of Digital Media and Publishing at the British Museum, explains: “The British Museum is committed to finding and providing new ways for visitors to explore our galleries, and for making them accessible to an ever greater audience. Apps like those produced by Gamar allow a different kind of learning experience whilst remaining rooted in the power of objects to inspire and engage audiences. Our relationship with Samsung and with Gamar means we can make use of the latest digital technology to augment the collection and widen the visitor experience.”

The development of the British Museum app was supported by Samsung and can also be used by primary schools and family visitors to the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre onsite.

The technology was piloted in the V&A Sackler Centre earlier this year, to coincide with the V&A and Qatar Museums Authority Pearls exhibition, and met with overwhelming success, with over 2,000 visitors playing the game in just one week.

The British Museum will be the first in the UK to make such technology a permanent feature – but other museums and attractions are also preparing to roll out new games – with a second Gamar game soon launching at the National Maritime Museum.

Augmented reality itself has existed for a number of years, but previous methods of coding have been expensive, time consuming and limited in terms of functionality – putting them beyond commercial reach. Gamar uses unique environment learning and mapping technology to enable the creation of augmented reality programs and games simply and quickly.

This is the first time Gamar’s technology has been made available for the general public, and its founders believe it could change the way we learn and interact with the world around us.

Gamar is the brainchild of former robotics specialist Venu Tammabatula, who has developed the groundbreaking technology to bring augmented reality gaming into the public sphere.

They intend to build a network of entertaining and educational games for families and tourists, playable at iconic locations throughout London. Future locations include entertainment parks, visitor attractions, zoos, art galleries, museums, and heritage sites.

Lee Briggs, partner and creative director for Gamar, says: “The overwhelming success of the software pilot earlier this year has shown the growing power of handheld technology to unlock and truly maximize the experience visitors can enjoy at museums and other real world attractions. We’re using this technology to re-invent the visitor experience in the UK, and are exploring a number of exciting opportunities around London and beyond for future games.”

Venu Tammabatula, founder of Gamar adds:“Traditional augmented reality software has limitations when it comes to mapping 3D objects and environments. Real world object and environment triggers are often just photos that must be viewed and scanned by the player from a single perspective. Our technology maps real world environments as data, from all angles, enabling us to create and superimpose digital experiences that are natural and that interact with their surroundings.”

Tammabatula continues: “The upcoming launch of our game creation platform will empower organisations and brands to design and publish their own games, through which they’ll be able to engage customers and visitors on a whole new level.”

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