A new augmented reality project is allowing nature lovers to see and find out more about Salmon in the River Tyne at Hexham, Northumberland through a new interactive experience.
Local Hexhamtv news vlogger Peter Woods has designed The Hexham Salmon Experience after he became one of 18 artists selected as part of the Great Exhibition of the North 2018’s N18 artists development programme.
Working with another N18 artist, Ali of Ali Elly Design, he took her 2D painting of a Salmon, had it converted into a 3D object and linked it to a scannable code.
A new exhibition board on the bank of the River Tyne near the Hexham boathouse promotes the project to local people and visitors. All you need to do to see the Salmon experience is download the Zappar App on your smartphone from your App store, head down to Tyne Green, and point your smartphone at the code on the sign.
The River Tyne is England¹s best Salmon fishing river and every year people gather on the bridge across the River Tyne at Hexham to watch the fish jumping up the weir to spawn further up-stream. The next six weeks is the best time of year to see this in action.
Peter wanted to celebrate this annual event by creating a giant Salmon in augmented reality, which could be viewed using smart phones.
He also researched educational material on the River Tyne and on the migration of the Salmon provided by organisations such as The Tyne Rivers Trust and The Kielder Salmon Hatchery. He linked this to another Zappar code so that as well as seeing a huge Salmon in augmented reality you can access some fascinating background information.
This will provide a great opportunity for local schools to visit the River Tyne at Hexham and teach their students about the local environment, link it with sustainability of rivers and our food supply chain, and show students how new technology can be used in arts and science projects.
Peter says: “I believe that we are on the cusp of a very big technological change. In a few years time augmented reality will be common place and we will be used to seeing information overlaid on the real world at school, at work and in our leisure time.
“I wanted to show the potential of augmented reality in public art and to show through the digital civics aspect of the project how augmented reality can be used for social good, to help people better access public information that they will find useful in their lives.
“As a non coder it took some time to get used to using the technology and to understand its capabilities. The BBC R&D team were very helpful with this aspect of the project. The technology is changing fast so it will get easier to develop innovative projects as a non coder as things move on.”
18 artists took part in the Great Exhibition of the North's N18 Artist Development Programme funded through Arts Council England's Ambition for Excellence Scheme May-October 2018.
To see The Hexham Salmon experience simply download the Zappar App on your smart phone app store and head on down to Tyne Green Country Park at NE46 3HF.
During the N18 programme Peter was mentored on The Hexham Salmon experience by Jasmine Cox and Jessica Driscoll of BBC Research and Development who have included his Hexham Salmon project on the BBC Taster website here https://www.bbc.co.uk/taster/pilots/hexham-salmon