Stirling is claiming the status of being the ‘first augmented reality city in the world’ after installing a series of objects around the city that come to life through digital technology.

Cutting edge software will transform the visitor experience allowing people to explore the city in a unique and exciting way through their smartphone screen.

Virtual signs will respond to users’ needs, Stirling’s rich history and heritage will be brought to life and interactive games will unlock rewards and incentives.

All people have to do is download the free Stirling XP app and then hold up their phones as they navigate the city.

Stirling Council has invested £200,000 in the project via funding from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Programme.

Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Offering this complete AR environment across Stirling is an exciting world-first and will revolutionise the visitor experience in our amazing city. 

“Stirling’s historic city centre and world-class attractions will be overlaid with interactive information, graphics, 3D models and much more, creating a fully immersive and dynamic experience that no other city currently offers.

“Stirling is already a must-visit destination and this pioneering product will raise the city’s profile and attract more people to come here, boosting the wider tourism economy.    

“The new free app will also open up a plethora of fantastic opportunities for local businesses and will make Stirling a more inclusive and accessible place that’s setting the world standard for next generation tourism.”

Stirling’s substantial investment in fibre broadband and BT’s rollout of 4G and 5G in the area has delivered the cutting-edge connectivity to lead other world cities on this innovative technology.

Alan Lees, director for BT’s Enterprise business in Scotland, said: “At BT, we don’t just build the connectivity, we help to build the solutions which will be powered by it to change communities. 

“Tourism is vital to the Scottish economy and working with Stirling Council and Seymour Powell we’re excited to be part of this brilliant app, helping to deliver a first of its kind experience which visitors will love.”

Seymour Powell, a tech innovation company with a base at Codebase Stirling, developed the cutting-edge software in partnership with Stirling Council and BT.   

Chris Doughty, head of immersive experiences at Seymour Powell said: “The Stirling XP project demonstrates what is possible when cutting-edge infrastructure providers, optimistic and forward-looking public bodies and award-winning designers work together.

“Using Google’s new Geospatial platform, we were able to design a truly immersive experience that brings the city to life by revealing an exciting digital layer, gamifying local history and providing tourists with local challenges that encourage them to go out and explore the city.

“We are delighted to have been able to deliver a project which firmly positions Stirling as a world-class digital destination and paves the way for continued, industry-leading, development.”