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NSCC Applied Research

Experiencing history in first-person through augmented reality

Person holds up smartphone by building entrance where a man and woman are chatting; screen shows rooftop pirate ship on the roof.


Information Technology Applied Research (ITAR) is working with PiRat Ghost History Hunt to develop and improve their Augmented Reality (AR) app. The project aims to preserve Indigenous, folklore and community heritage by introducing younger generations to a library of historical stories through an accessible, entertaining and educational platform. The ITAR Lab is improving the function of the AR mechanics and features to make the user experience more fun and engaging.


Growing interest in virtual experiences and technological advances in mobile devices has created an opportunity to explore history from a first-person perspective. The collaboration with the ITAR Lab continues to enhance the app's performance and user experience, paving the way for future advancements in augmented reality and mixed reality technologies. This interactive, self-guided educational app is bringing iconic historical experiences, like hoisting the sails of the Bluenose, into a virtual world. Maintaining historical accuracy has required the collaboration of dozens of researchers across numerous domains. 


“Through our years of development, we have had many talented NSCC grads and interns contribute amazing content to the project. We excitedly added NSCC researchers to the team and together, we are creating a world-class mechanism for this new frontier of mobile mixed reality.”

-Paul Speed, Founder of PiRat Ghost History Hunt