Bognor's seaside time portal nominated for six AR and VR industry awards

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A time portal which uses augmented reality (AR) technology to send visitors back in time to Bognor Regis past has been nominated for six Auggie Awards.

Founded in 2010, the Auggie Awards are the leading AR and VR industry awards, recognising innovating new uses for and startling new discoveries within both technological fields.

The Bognor Regis Time Portal, which was installed on the seafront earlier this year, has been nominated in six categories: Best Art / Film, Best Education and Training, Best Enterprise Solution, Best Indie Creator, Best Location-Based Entertainment and Best Social Impact.

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By scanning a QR Code on an adjacent information board, then holding their phones up to the distinct red portal, users are transported back to Bognor’s heyday as a seaside town, when Bathing Machines dominated the coast and Bognor’s own life-saving mermaid Mary Wheatland kept a watchful eye on the waves. Users will be able to see computer generation impressions of the bathing machines themselves, as well as Mary Wheatland, beautifully performed by Vicky Edwards.

Bognor's Time Portal has been a hit ever since it was introduced earlier this year.Bognor's Time Portal has been a hit ever since it was introduced earlier this year.
Bognor's Time Portal has been a hit ever since it was introduced earlier this year.

It’s hoped the project will inspire similar, enterprises all over the UK, paving the way for the use of AR technology to explore histories of place in communities across the country.

Writing on Facebook, a spokesperson for the project encouraged members of the public to show their support: “It is so wonderful to have been recognised in these categories alongside some amazing augmented reality projects but It's now up to you, the public, to vote for us.”

Voting takes place online, and the polls close on May 22, at 11.59pm, Pacific Time. Winners will be announced on June 19, following a period of judging.

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The Bognor Regis Time Portal is up against some stiff competition, though, so local votes will count for a lot. Also in the Best Art/ Film category is Origen – which has been dubbed by creators as a ‘narrative, interactive and poetic journey through the Amazon Rainforest,’ – and ‘JFK’ Memento, an investigative documentary into the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.

Still, after just a few months in the town, the Time Portal is already a bona-fide hit, attracting well over 5,000 visitors since it opened, according to its creators.

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