Visitors set to be inspired with an ‘Escape into #ScotSpirit’ through their mobile devices
People across the world can now instantly walk through the prehistoric village of Skara Brae in Orkney, soar high over Edinburgh Castle like a bird, journey into the depths of The Hollow Mountain of Ben Cruachan and experience the Northern Lights – all from the comfort of their own home, with the release of a new virtual reality app from VisitScotland.
ScotlandVR is a ground-breaking virtual travel experience that allows people, wherever they are in the world, to be immersed in Scotland’s remarkable attractions.
Launched today (February 28), it is hoped the ScotlandVR app, which is available for all Android and Apple users to download for free on Google Play and Apple Store, will incite emotion during those ‘I want to get away’ moments in life and inspire more people to discover Scotland for real.
Featuring state-of-the art 360˚ imagery and footage, users start their journey in a virtual glen complete with moo-ing Highland Cow, crackling fire and bellowing stag. From there, they can jump into a map of Scotland and experience 26 unique attractions covering every region of the country.
The whole environment can be experienced in Stereoscopic 3D when used with a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset, or in 360˚ view using gyroscope technology in phone mode.
The Scotland VR app is a result of the collaborative effort and pioneering spirit of Scottish academic, technology and tourism sectors.
During the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, VisitScotland challenged young talent from Scotland’s academia to create an exciting, interactive digital product designed to inspire and motivate people to visit Scotland. The winners of the competition were a team from Edinburgh Napier University, led by Professor David Benyon and Dr Oli Mival who developed the concept for an innovative app in which to explore a virtual Scotland. The final ScotlandVR app was created by Edinburgh-based digital and creative agency, Whitespace in association with VisitScotland and Edinburgh Napier University.
The app launches with 26 attractions, but future phases of the software will see attractions added through refreshed content. The landmark locations for launch were chosen from set criteria including footfall, product diversity, online searches and links to the current 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. The launch attractions are:
|Abbotsford House||Scottish Borders|
|Robert Burns Birthplace Museum||Ayrshire|
|Cairngorms National Park||Highlands|
|Calanais Standing Stones||Outer Hebrides|
|Cruachan The Hollow Mountain||Argyll and Bute|
|Edinburgh Castle||Edinburgh and Lothians|
|Eilean Donan Castle||Highlands|
|The Falkirk Wheel||Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling and Forth Valley|
|Falkland Palace and Garden||Fife|
|Forth Bridges||Fife / Edinburgh and Lothians|
|Galloway Forest Park||Dumfries and Galloway|
|The Kelpies||Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling and Forth Valley|
|Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum||Glasgow|
|National Museum of Scotland||Edinburgh and Lothians|
|New Lanark World Heritage Site||Lanarkshire|
|Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh||Edinburgh and Lothians|
|RRS Discovery||Dundee and Angus|
|The Scottish Crannog Centre and Loch Tay||Perthshire|
|The National Wallace Monument||Stirlingshire|
|Shetland Museum and Archives||Shetland|
Research shows that 60% of searches for destination information come from mobile devices. This, coupled with virtual reality experiencing growth worldwide (forecasted numbers of VR users between now and 2018 set to grow by 400% to 170 million) creates a prime opportunity for Scotland to be discovered in a new and innovative way. A recent report by Greenlight VR showed that travel and adventure VR content is the most sought after by consumers (74%), followed by movies and live-events.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We are excited to be able to launch our first venture into the world of virtual reality. Far from being a fad or gimmick, VR is revolutionising the way people choose the destinations they might visit by allowing them to ‘try before they buy’ and learn more about the country in an unique and interactive way.
“We have no doubt that once people get a taste of the spirit of Scotland or #ScotSpirit through ScotlandVR, they will be booking a holiday to experience our stunning landscapes and attractions in the flesh.”
Katie Hughes, Director of Estates at Scottish Canals, said: “We’re delighted that The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel feature in ScotlandVR. The app allows anyone to step inside the soaring steel of the largest equine sculptures on the planet, take a digital turn on the world’s only rotating boat lift, and explore two icons of Scotland’s inland waterways from the comfort of their own home.
“The nation’s inland waterways are there for everyone to enjoy and we’re sure the virtual tours of ScotlandVR will encourage even more people, from local residents keen to explore the wonders on their doorstep to would-be visitors from overseas, to take a trip in person and enjoy the many incredible experiences Scotland and its historic canals have to offer.”
ScotlandVR is now available to download from Google Play and Apple Stores. For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/app
Promotional videos of ScotlandVR:
30 sec edit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iWlo1YjWBE
75 sec edit – https://youtu.be/h80MpihZlhs