DAVID UNWIN / Things
Katie Peacock, 10, and Sienna Cooper, 13, find the hidden letters in search of the app’s treasure.
Organizing an annual light show at a museum was always supposed to attract young people to learn about its history, but this year there was something to learn from the older generation.
The latest Fantasy in Lights event, held at Feilding’s Coach House Museum from July 10-24, includes an augmented reality app developed by UCOL students, using pre-existing software.
Attendees used the app to participate in a virtual treasure hunt, but some found it more complicated than others.
Bev Bull withheld an electronic device borrowed from the organizers, Makino Rotary, but struggled to see the code.
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Her granddaughter Isla McLeod, 6, said “hold her back, farther from the picture.”
When kept at the proper distance, what was once a still image came to life through the device’s screen, revealing a 3-letter secret code.
“He’s teaching me something,” Bull said. Before she had a chance to tour the Island on the next screen, her granddaughter was going to the lighted dance floor.
Nearby, 6-year-old Peyton Casey-Teare peered between the shop windows and the museums.
“I love creepy dolls!” he shouted when asked what his favorite part of the exhibition was, pointing to the models of historical figures depicted in a historical Feilding.
Katie Peacock, 10, said her favorite part of the event was the sheep moving when you scanned an image.
Caregiver Shonee Cooper said they had been to the event three years ago, and it was good that there was “something different” this time.
Coach House Museum volunteer Chris Bland said the museum was always thinking of new ways to get young people involved in the exhibition. The latter included an activity sheet for people to take to the building, although he said it would be “a bit tricky to fill them in the dark”.
Former Makino Rotary president Glenn Coogan said the augmented reality app “lifts the whole event.”
There were too many LED light screens in the museum, though. Coogan said they were made members of the club 18 years ago.