Visitors to the Berlin Wall can use a newly developed augmented reality app to bring the structure's difficult and divisive past to life. The app has been developed to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. Sharon Reich reports.
This app is allowing visitors to preserved sections of the Berlin Wall to step back in time. Using augmented reality technology, the app displays archive footage from the spot the device's camera is pointing at. "Timetraveller - The Berlin Wall" was created by Robin von Hardenberg just in time for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. (SOUNDBITE) (German) DEVELOPER OF APP "TIMETRAVELER DIE BERLINER MAUER" ("TIMETRAVELLER THE BERLIN WALL"), ROBIN VON HARDENBERG, SAYING: "The problem you always have when you go to a historical site is that you are there, and the first thing you have to do is look in a book to read about it. And you fundamentally lose contact with the place. With the app, you can be somewhere and simply look at it and see what happened in the past. ... The impression is so much stronger, because you can really be outside and recreate the experience of emotional moments as if you had been there." In addition to historical footage, the app gives users information about the impact of the wall on Germany during the Cold War. It has a GPS map that guides people through 11 sites along the route of the Wall, including the building where a 77-year-old woman famously jumped out of a window to cross the boundary. Tourist Zack Burbeck says the app's insight added to his experience. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VISITOR TO THE BERLIN WALL MEMORIAL DOCUMENTATION CENTRE, ZACK BURBECK, SAYING: "I thought it was pretty incredible. I'm glad I walked all the way up here, up all the steps." The app is available for iOS and Android devices.....giving visitors a unique interactive experience at the Cold War's most iconic site.