I’m a huge history buff (and of course a tech geek) so when the two intersect I am all over it and that is definitely the case with the new Statue of Liberty app for iOS.
The Technical Details
First off, the app is iOS only right now. So you need to have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) running at least iOS 12.0. Why? Because the app is utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) and the key technologies to run AR are not available in older versions of the iOS operating system. AR is different from virtual reality in that it blends a real environment (typically through the use of a camera on your device) with a virtual reality environment… hence the “augmented” term. So, for example, any time you are using the app, you will have a virtual Statue of Liberty that is either superimposed or sitting on a real object in front of you. You then interact with the virtual Statue of Liberty by touching your device’s screen and/or moving around the real object that Lady Liberty appears to be sitting on. If done right, AR brings an additional and very realistic dimension to the application. Below are just a few of the key features and specifications of this new application:
- Slightly over 600 MB in size, so you will need to be on wi-fi in order to download it
- Touch panorama (from the perspective of Lady Liberty’s torch) allows you to view the Statue of Liberty from any angle as it sits in New York Harbor
- Making of Lady Liberty feature that takes you physically inside the Statue of Liberty, exposing how it was constructed and how it has changed in appearance over time
- Life size AR model: this is where you get to place Lady Liberty on a real surface in front of you and explore the details of the statue
- 180-degree historical time-lapse: Watch the entire 180-degrees of skyline change over time from the perspective of Lady Liberty
- On-island audio tour and podcast mini-series
As I mentioned before, I love learning about history. So when I heard about the this new Statue of Liberty app, I immediately wanted to play with it. So I didn’t even wait until I was home. I downloaded it while waiting for a flight in the Newport News airport and plopped Lady Liberty down right in front of me in the airport terminal.
I have been to New York City, but the Statue of Liberty was not one of the sites I visited. It is still on my to-do list for sure, but that is what’s great about this app. Whether you are taking a physical tour and using the “audio tour” features of the app or you just want to learn more about America’s most iconic statue, this app has you covered. The graphics are impressive and fully immersive, and the app designers did a great job of making the history behind Lady Liberty fun and very approachable. The Statue of Liberty app for iOS is a free app and can be downloaded from the iOS App Store.