Now anyone with a smartphone can take a futuristic leap into Boston’s legendary history and culture with Dreamland Wax Museum’s new augmented reality mobile application. By including experiences around Boston and inside the museum, the app connects users with a wealth of opportunities to experience this new technology before and during their visit to the museum.

Immediately after downloading the application, users can view a demonstration AR experience of Benjamin Franklin welcoming you to the city and the museum. Did you know that Ben was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts? Well, he is about to tell you that himself.

The experience is triggered by pointing your phone at the floor or intended target and tapping the screen to load an animated 3D model. You can then control the animated sequence of the model speaking to you while you walk around the real world environment, seeing the model from all directions.

Each AR experience within the app is a little different, adding an element of surprise and discovery. Users will see life-sized 3D models, videos playing inside of picture frames, and environmental effects such as geysers and fireworks.

“We wanted to include a variety of different experiences to see which ones resonate with people the most. The biggest priority is context, making sure that the creative choices made at each location are effective at reinforcing the story around these great characters and locations.” – Matt Sheils

Leadership at Dreamland sees augmented reality and its mobile initiatives as a continuous project that will be supported for years to come, making it an integral part of the overall museum experience. By listening to user feedback and seeing for themselves what works best, we plan to include additional experiences on a regular basis, whether that is featuring a new wax figure or new location around the city.

Another interesting result of embracing augmented reality has been meeting other museum professionals who are working on their own projects that use new technologies to enhance visitor experiences. Although augmented and virtual experiences have been technically possible for some time, it is still a complex process for museums to include them in a meaningful way.

“We are trying to avoid including this as a novelty, where it is tech for the sake of tech. We want to enhance an already engaging, real-world exhibit with a layer of digital information that takes it to a whole new level.”- Matt Sheils

Starting April 16th, the app is available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play. You can sign up for release notifications and updates by visiting the website.