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German film-maker offers time-travel app for augmented reality experience


German film-maker offers time-travel app for augmented reality experience

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Showing you the Berlin Wall like you’ve never seen it before.

The brainchild of German film-maker Robin von Hardenberg, Timetraveler is an app that allows you to travel back in time using so-called “augmented reality” technology.

Hardenberg has been trying out his new gadget at the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre, which offers detailed background about the history and politics behind the building of the Wall.

“The problem with historic sites is that when you get there, you look around, then the first thing you do is look in your guide book, and in the end you don’t get a true feel for the place. With this app, you can be on site and see past events unfold right before your eyes,” he explained.

The app superimposes images from the past over those captured by your tablet or smartphone. When he points his tablet at Berlin’s Bernauer Strasse, black and white footage appears showing the spectacular escape of an East German woman, Frieda Schulze, from her first floor window just after the Wall was built in 1961.

“It’s amazing for young generations because they get a kind of improved history lesson with this app, and it’s also quite moving because it feels like you were there at that precise moment,” said von Hardenberg.

The app comes with a GPS card featuring 11 locations along Berlin’s former East-West border.

Von Hardenberg is excited about the prospects if offers: “It not only allows us to relive these historic moments, but it’s also a chance to develop new types of teaching formats. It’s a lot of fun.”

Berlin’s Wall Documentation Centre is one of the most visited sites in the German capital. It includes 220 metres out of the 155-kilometre wall that isolated West from East Berlin.

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