By now, you’re maybe familiar with augmented reality, aka AR. Basically, an AR experience is akin to visually stepping back in time, or into the future for that matter. The experience takes place on your smart phone. Once an app is downloaded (and opened), followed by signing up/in, it’s as easy as training your phone’s screen on a predetermined object and letting the AV technology take you for a ride.
In the case of the Conservancy, the AR experience takes place at Olmsted parks and parkways throughout the city. The technology is not only impressive (and readily available these days), the interaction with the subject matter is fascinating. For example, by training your phone (via the Olmsted AR app) on a newly installed sign at, say, Front Park, this is what you will see (from start to finish):
For the first time, visitors to this forsaken “waterfront” site can now imagine – in great visual detail – what it must have been like to behold this magnificent structure. The Olmsted sign “comes alive,” as if it itself was a TV or computer screen, as the park’s backdrop remains the same, thus giving insightful perspective.
The app can provide users with key information on park updates regarding amenity locations, events, closures, and alerts.
Additional wayfinding information on each of the signs provides people with instructions on how to use the AR app, as well as factoids pertaining to the site.
This handy new app, called Olmsted App 2.0, can be used at numerous park and parkway locations, thus allowing viewers to interact with the Olmsted park system in ways that they could never have imagined.
“Our parks and outdoor spaces are critically important for accessibility, now more than ever,” said Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “As our community seeks refuge in Buffalo’s historic urban green spaces to exercise, gather with family and friends, and soak up the benefits of being in nature, the new Olmsted App 2.0 is the enhanced tool park users need to navigate their access, and for learning more about how our Olmsted parks play a vital role in everyone’s environmental health and wellness today.”
Designed by New Bird, the app is available on Android and Apple mobile devices. The app redevelopment was supported by Market New York through I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism as part of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, and M&T Bank.
“M&T understands how important our Olmsted Parks System is to our community by providing access to beautiful green space for all of Buffalo’s neighborhoods,” said Nancy Brock, Vice President, Program Director, The M&T Charitable Foundation at M&T Bank. “We are proud to support the launch of Olmsted App 2.0 which will enhance the experience of all users of the park system by creating a more interactive and educational experience.”
“Exploring and discovering our Olmsted parks has never been more important to our health and wellness,” said Joel Feroleto, Delaware District Councilmember. “The Conservancy’s upgraded Olmsted App 2.0 is the tool we need to help us navigate, inform and educate. For instance, the new Augmented Reality feature in the App will show historic Delaware Park’s lost Quarry Garden, and there will be enhanced directions, signage, and park details in making our Olmsted system of parks accessible and patron friendly.”
“Here, in Buffalo, we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful park system as Olmsted, said David Rivera, Niagara District Councilmember. “The launch of the Olmsted App 2.0 only increases the number of ways in which families and individuals can interact with and enjoy these beautiful and historic green spaces.”
To learn more or download the mobile application visit app.bfloparks.org.
The app is updated regularly, so that we can make it better for you. For the best experience, we encourage you to turn on automatic updates to make sure you get all of the latest features and improvements. The app is optimized for the following devices and operating systems:
- iPhone XS & XR using operating system 12.0.1 and above
- iPhone 6s, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, X, iPad Pro 12.9″, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 using operating system 11.4.1 and above
- Android Samsung Galaxy S9, Pixel 3 using operating system 9.1.0 “Pie” and above
- Android Samsung Galaxy S9, S8+ using operating system 8.1.0 “Oreo” and above
- Android Samsung Galaxy S8, S7 Edge and S7 using operating system 7.1.2 “Nougat” and above