Blackpool set for groundbreaking 3D internet StoryTrail experience

A unique technological experience allowing families to go on a time travel history trail in Blackpool is being planned for next summer.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 3:41 pm
Blackpool with a difference, with the image created using mobile scanning technology to create the interactive virtual map which will be part of the library installation for StoryTrails

StoryTrails, described as "a unique immersive storytelling experience", is coming to the resort in July next year.

The idea behind the project is to unearth interesting and true historical stories about Blackpool and use groundbreaking technology to bring them to life, by a series of installations and use of free AR 'augmented reality' phone apps to guide participants to locations linked to the stories.

As they follow the trails, they will be able to visit locations that are transformed by a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality using headsets and stunning new technology, allowing them to experience history where it actually happened.

The team behind the project have chosen Blackpool as one of 15 locations across the UK to stage it, although each one will be unique to their own area .

Before the project comes to life next year, coordinators StoryFutures are currently looking to recruit paid 'creative talents' to help run it

Their role will be to work closely with local people to gather unknown and intriguing stories and showcase them using 'immersive technologies', 3D modelling software, games engines and both augmented and virtual reality.

Full training in immersive technology will be provided alongside access to state of the art equipment, production support and production credits for the work.

Professor James Bennett, director of StoryFutures and StoryTrails, said: “StoryTrails is a massively ambitious project as we travel across the UK to discover unknown, surprising and intriguing stories from local communities.

"We’re excited to work with local creative talent to uncover and bring these hidden histories to life, creating a new sense of belonging and immerse audiences in an amazing new way to see themselves, their communities, their towns and country."

StoryTrails is being put together by StoryFutures and in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), broadcaster and film-maker, David Olusoga, the BBC, Uplands Television, and leading immersive specialists ISO Design and Nexus Studios.

The ambitious project is part of as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a ground-breaking UK-wide celebration of creativity in 2022.

Blackpool residents are being promised a stunning 'augmented reality' experiences that remix the BFI and BBC archives, allowing local people to experience history where it actually happened, revitalising the streets upon which they stand with new voices and untold stories of the past.

Inside Blackpool Central Library, participants will be immersed in a virtual map of their town that will be made up of 3D models and audio stories captured on location and they will have the opportunity to explore further stories via bespoke virtual reality experiences.

StoryTrails will culminate with a specially commissioned film by David Olusoga’s Uplands Television which will screen in BFI cinemas nationally and be made available to audiences across BBC iPlayer.

For further details visit story-trails.com and via Facebook and Instagram @StoryTrailsProject