Which of the two statements is by far more interesting?
a) During a missile drill in 1943, the USS William D. Porter accidentally fired an armed torpedo straight at the USS Iowa, which was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Tehran Conference.
b) “In the nick of time, the USS IOWA changed course to avoid the torpedo rushing through the water. I ordered my secret service men to move my wheelchair for a better view of the explosion. In the course of this war, never would I have believed that my closest encounter with death would have come from one of my own ships!”
If you answered B, you naturally recognize the pull of a first-person witness when understanding historical events. Especially when that first person witness is President Franklin D. Roosevelt! Or, in the Battleship IOWA’s case, an augmented reality version of the 32nd president (We like to call him AR FDR).
Smile and Say “New Deal!”
At the Battleship IOWA museum, visitors can “meet” the only first-class passenger aboard the Iowa during its service, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. By holding their device up to a trigger image, FDR pops into existence right in front of them! Visitors can choose from a variety of questions to ask and hear about features of the ship, World War II, and the presidency. They can even take a photo with AR FDR!
The interactive capabilities of AR open doors for more impactful learning and engagement opportunities. By answering questions through “first-person” stories, AR FDR creates a memorable learning experience. And that’s the beauty of this technology–it allows visitors to have experiences that would otherwise be impossible!
Whether it’s through a journal entry, a recorded interview, or a re-created AR historical figure, hearing about history told from someone who was actually there helps paint a fuller picture of historical, cultural, and political contexts. It humanizes what would otherwise be just a two-dimensional fact in a history book (or wall label). With AR, you can take it to an interactive level in three dimensions!