St. Mary's Guildhall

AR digital tour immerses visitors in the stories of St. Mary’s Guildhall whilst exploring the building, its fabric and objects, and the marks left over time by its occupants and visitors.

AR Digital Tour

Augmented Reality Digital Tour

AR digital tour guides
AR navigation
Location aware AR recreations
AR image and object recognition
Accessible virtual tour
Accessible text and audio
Updatable special tours
30x tablets
1x charge and sync cabinet
Content management system
Creative direction, interpretive and content design, scriptwriting, software development, audio visual production, motion capture CGI production, hardware supply and installation
Showcasing Coventry’s rich heritage, St Mary’s Guildhall is embodied in over 700 years of history. It is one of the finest surviving medieval guildhalls in the country. It has been of great importance in the city since it was first built in the 1340s and continues to be an important venue at the centre of the community of Coventry today and for the future.

Working with interpretive designers Imagemakers we created a digital tour that enables visitors to immerse themselves in the stories of the Guildhall whilst exploring the building, its fabric and objects, and the marks left over time by its occupants and visitors.

It showcases the stories through a visually rich Augmented Reality (AR) led experience backed by powerful ‘Dig Deeper’ interpretation. Location aware functionality guides visitors through the building and the tour. A content management system enables continuous updates to keep the experience fresh.

Visitors are guided towards opportunities to investigate, discover, and bring to life, the Guildhall’s history, rather than ‘read’ about it in a ‘book-like’ format.

AR Tour Guides

Visitors choose an AR tour guide to lead them through the Guildhall. 11-year-old local girl Asha, a motion captured CGI character, leads the Family Tour, designed for a family group working together within a shared experience, with content targeting 7- to 12-year-olds. Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian, TV presenter and author, leads the adult tour, designed for visitors over 14 years old. The guides introduce every room that visitors enter. They explain the AR experiences, guide visitors through the content at each stop, and provide accessible narration as visitors look at the building.

AR Navigation

AR helps visitors navigate through the complex twists and turns of this historic building. It provides simple, step by step, directions for visitors to follow from room to room, and tracks and orientates them on the easy-to-understand maps of each floor of the building. It uses location aware technology to show visitors their location and provides alternative ‘step free’ directions to assist visitors with mobility requirements.
Amazing! A lot of effort was put in to make this a great experience. They make use of technology in a clever way to engage both adults and children. Highly recommend!”
TripAdvisor review

Location Aware AR Recreations

Four key events from the Guildhall’s history have been painstakingly researched and recreated in location aware AR scenes so visitors can experience them in the rooms in which they took place. The period accurate scenes feature 3D CGI characters brought to life by actors using motion and audio capture, backed by atmospheric animation, detailed scenic props, and soundscapes.

In the Medieval Kitchen visitors are transported back to A September morning in 1617. They can walk through the busy kitchen to experience staff preparing food for a banquet for King James I. In the Great Hall the banquet for King James I is in full swing. The hall is full of happy guests. Servants scurry to and fro, replenishing food platters and refilling goblets. On the top table King James I takes pride of place.

Visitors can walk freely through the scenes, to take in the action from any vantage point, to explore the details of the period food and clothing, to listen in on conversation between characters, to immerse themselves in the actual events that took place in the Guildhall. We believe that the tour features the most extensive and complex use of AR currently on offer in any interpretive digital tour in the country.

AR Image and Object Recognition

At the Coventry Tapestry visitors can scan the 500-year-old masterpiece to reveal its stories. Image recognition scans the figures in the tapestry’s scenes and then brings them to life to re-enact their stories.

AR object recognition is used throughout the tour to access ‘dig deeper’ information on over 50 features and artefacts of the Guildhall, supporting the visually led explorative experience of the digital tour.
“We were met by one of the Guides and within minutes we were taking the tour! Other reviewers refer to the Guildhall being a "Hidden Gem"; it is exactly that in both senses of that description. I would describe it as being "history on steroids.”
TripAdvisor review

Audio Experience

Audio is central to the experience. Voice actors provide character narrations, AR is enhanced with voices and audio special effects to build atmosphere and a sense of place. It does not isolate or separate visitors from, or stop them engaging with, the building, but overlays on the experience to direct visitors and enhance their visit.

Special Tours

The Special Tour provides a much simpler, faster, themed, room by room tour experience. It can be updated frequently by the client team to reflect (and potentially advertise) their changing programme of cultural and seasonal events. Its ‘lighter touch’ approach supports the client’s desire to provide a continuously changing visitor experience.

The Virtual Tour

The Virtual Tour enables visitors unable to physically access parts of the building to enjoy the tour and all content. It has been carefully designed to ensure that the visitor experience is not diminished. Where location specific content, such as the AR scenes, is simply not possibly to operate, they have been replaced by new functionality specially designed for the virtual tour, for example, specially commissioned 360-degree panoramic photography of each room, with interactive hotspots to access narrated versions of the scenes.