If you ever visited a historic landmark and wished you could turn back the clock to get a first-hand look at past events – there’s an app for that.
Initially launched in London, Timelooper, is an app that will let you stand at a specific historic location, place your phone into a Google Cardboard VR viewer and transport you to some of “the most memorable moments” that occurred at that location.
The Timelooper app allows time travelers with a cardboard VR viewer to move their gaze around the virtual environment, seemingly exploring London centuries ago. The videos are location-based, meaning visitors must visit the sites to unlock the historical experiences.
Some of the VR events include being a witness to the Great Fire of London in 1666 or seeing what happened on Sept. 23, 1940, during Nazi bombing raids in Trafalgar Square, one of London’s famous tourist locations.
Timelooper Co-Founders Andrew Feinberg and Yigit Yigiter were frustrated with current tourism technology that hasn’t evolved much since the introduction of audio guides. After coming across a Google Cardboard VR viewer back in 2014, the duo set out to explore ways they could create more immersive virtual reality tourism experiences. And they may be on to something.
The app allows users to download the 360° videos anytime in advance, addressing worries about lousy internet connection when traveling, but you must unlock the video content at the site. This in a way forces you to go out and explore these historic landmarks. It also opens the opportunity for museums or souvenir shops to sell Cardboard headsets to tourists that may want to experience this VR content exclusive to the location.
The good news? Looks like Timelooper will also be making its way across the pond to New York City in the next couple months. The app will be going live with seven new stories that include the recreation of the famous VJ Day kiss in Times Square in 1945 and the iconic picture of workers eating lunch atop a skyscraper during construction of the Rockefeller Center in 1932.
And for you content creators out there, Timelooper is hoping to team up with production companies to upload their own content to the app as well. Which means maybe on day the app could go from just being a virtual tourism experience to a historic catalog of important events around the world.