by Alex Connell in Tech on Wednesday 5 December 2012

University of Newcastle researchers have developed an innovative app for smart phones and tablets that can transport people back to 19th Century Newcastle at the flick of a finger. The ‘Layar Reality App’ uses smart technology, enabling visitors and history buffs to roam the city streets, point their mobile device at a building or site, and be given a window into the Victorian era. 

University of Newcastle School of Architecture researchers Dr. Tessa MorrisonNicholas Foulcher and Dr. Helen Giggins are using smart phone applications – Layar and WhatWas There – to bring users an augmented reality functionality to display digital “layers” of text and images on an interactive map. The architecture of a forgotten era is then brought to life. By downloading the free Layar Reality application on a smart phone or tablet device, users simply scan the images and hit streets, viewing pictures and reading the history at the 25 designated sites. Here’s an explanatory video, capturing researchers and developers Dr. Tessa Morrison; Nicolas Foulcher taking the Layar app on its maiden test run.