Augmented reality (AR) is one of the coolest technologies around, and it’s about to hit the Maltese islands big time through recently launched app, Secrets of Palazzo Falson.
Recommended for users aged 12 and above, the app’s narrative is a dark and medieval love story which invites the player to explore different characters in order to solve the mystery of the high-profile murder of Lady Caterina through the AR app.
App designers and developers Mighty Box explain how the technology behind the app works: “The app is based on AR which means that you can point your mobile device at your surroundings and things will pop up on your screen which are not there in real life. So you’ll see paintings being animated, characters will talk to you and objects will move,” says technical supervisor Marvin Zammit.
He continues to add that “the technology is particularly innovative because it works without specially printed markers, which would interfere with the aesthetics of the museum rather, we use the actual environment of the Palazzo itself.”
The app, which was jointly launched by the Vodafone Malta Foundation and Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, will help bring a new audience to the museum: “‘this is a very exciting project that gives the opportunity to use innovative technology in the museum and enhance the visitors experience,” says Palazzo Falson curator Caroline Tonna.
Vodafone Malta Foundation's Chairman has only words of praise for Secrets of Palazzo Falson: “We are using cutting-edge augmented reality technology, which is a first for any museum in Malta.”
The story behind the app came through Greek author Eleni Papadopoulou, who for the last few years harboured the desire to “do a project related to a Maltese museum”, and found a museum willing to allow her to use their premises to research her story.
With a hall pass from Palazzo Falson, she was able to write a fictional narrative, thanks to the inspiration provided by the Palazzo’s history and the stories surrounding its past residents, including those who reportedly still roam the halls. OooOOOooo!
‘Secrets of Palazzo Falson’ can be downloaded for free after purchasing an entrance ticket at Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum in Mdina, which also entitles you to an audio-guided tour of the museum. While it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, the last entry is at 4pm.
Don’t forget to take your headphones!