Harvey Milk Park Comes Alive With Augmented Reality

Throughout early December Harvey Milk Park has been transformed into an outdoor, public collaborative space that encourages creativity and interaction. On December 15, Augmented Reality Long Beach (ARLB) will bring tech to the park with with videos, audio, and photos of Harvey Milk, that will help tell his story while the park takes on a new dynamic.

Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. To view the project, smartphone owners just search for “ARLB” app on iOS or Droid devices and download the app.

“We are now in a transition toward the next Internet, the Heads Up Internet, where instead of looking down into a device we will be looking through a device to experience the Internet all around us,” said ARLB founder, Bryan Amburgey.

Amburgey has become a local evangelist of sorts for AR technology, having created AR experiences in Long Beach for the last three years, including six “Active Editions” for local news site Long Beach Post when it was still publishing a print edition. Readers of the paper could scan the pages with their phone and watch as relevant videos and pictures would appear on top of the articles.

The Legacy of Harvey Milk Augmented Reality Project is a collaboration with the City of Long Beach’s Innovation Team and ARLB, and was awarded a $10,000 placemaking grant from the DLBA. This project is one example of how the City is finding innovative ways of using public space to bring people together and out of their office buildings during the day.

The activation is just one step toward Amburgey’s larger goal to make Long Beach the first augmented city in the United States.