RRS Discovery launches new VR app

Nicola Sullivan, 05.04.2017
App allows visitors to explore heritage ship
RRS Discovery – an historic ship run by the Dundee Heritage Trust – has launched a new virtual reality app

The app RRS Discovery, which can be downloaded for free onto mobile devices, includes 360-degree views of the ship’s deck, including the two masts, bowsprit and quayside. It allows visitors to explore the ship’s rigging and masts, which have been removed from the ship for cleaning and repairs.

Restoration work on the rigging and masts started in November last year and all the missing parts are now being replaced in a few weeks.

The design of the app was influenced by an augmented reality project developed by Smart History, an education resource for people studying art and cultural heritage, that allowed visitors to walk virtually through the ship's masts and rigging using Xbox controllers.

The new app also features drone footage of the ship and the surrounding areas, as well as historical images of the ship on different expeditions, including its voyage to the Antarctic.

A statement from the Dundee Heritage Trust said: “RRS Discovery tour staff are making full use of the app on tablets to illustrate the contrast between the masts now and how they look fully rigged. The app allows visitors to enjoy the virtual reality experience on their phones in normal or stereoscopic view. This can be enhanced by the use of headsets, available to borrow free of charge.”