Mixed Reality I/O creates AR App for Bad Ischl, Europe’s cultural capital of 2024

Telling better stories with AR

The just launched “Bad Ischl AR” application, available for both iOS and Android, blurs the boundaries between the real and the digital world in Bad Ischl – the European Capital of Culture in 2024. The app navigates visitors through the city center while telling engaging stories and some not so well known anecdotes at the most iconic points of interest. Visitors using the app can expect to experience “live performances” by famous composers such as Anton Bruckner playing the organ and Joseph Strauss performing a passage of the “Fledermaus” overture on his violin (bring your headphones for best audio quality). You will also experience the historic and amusing car ride shared between Kaiser Franz Joseph and his royal visitor from England, King Edward the VII.

The “Bad Ischl AR” app trailer

New AR technology makes it possible: VPS instead of GPS

With the introduction of new positioning systems, AR for location based experiences has made a giant leap forward in the last couple of years. Some of you might have tried some underwhelming location based AR apps in the past. In fact, when I was at Lonely Planet in Singapore about 15 years ago, we pioneered the location based AR space by publishing multiple AR city guide apps based on GPS only. Admittedly, the success of these was very poor, as travelers were seeing AR content everywhere, but not at the position where it was meant to be. However, let me assure you, these new vision based positioning systems (VPS) have revolutionised what’s possible. But don’t take my word for it. Give the Bad Ischl AR app a go, when you get a chance.

A true team effort

Many people and organisations have contributed to making this innovative project possible. While initiated and financed by Österreich Werbung (Austrian National Tourist Office) the Bad Ischl Tourist Board has been an essential supporting partner to get this off the ground.

“The European Capital of Culture 2024 Bad Ischl / Salzkammergut offered us the unique opportunity to explore the potential of innovative solutions for the development of sustainable and modern tourism.”

Oliver Csendes, Chief Innovation Officer of Österreich Werbung

“The aim of the app is, among other things, to experience the history of our traditional place and to offer also offer something for younger audiences.”

Jakob Reitinger, managing director of the Bad Ischl Tourism Board

More videos of three Bad Isch AR app experiences

Anton Bruckner performing on his Kaiser organ at Pfarrkirche
Johann Strauss playing Fledermaus overture on the violin
Kaiser Franz Josef in car with King Edward at Residenz Elisabeth