Scotland encourages virtual travellers with new app

VisitScotland has launched a virtual travel experience allowing people around the world to immerse themselves in Scotland’s attractions.

Users of the ScotlandVR app begin their journey in a virtual glen accompanied by a moo-ing Highland Cow, a crackling fire and a bellowing stag. From there, they can jump into a map of Scotland and experience 26 attractions covering every region of the country.

The environment can be experienced either in Stereoscopic 3D when used with a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset; in 360˚ view using gyroscope phone technology; or by touchscreen also in phone mode.

As part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, VisitScotland challenged young talent from Scotland’s academia to create an exciting, interactive digital product designed to inspire and motivate people to visit Scotland.

The winners were a team from Edinburgh Napier University, led by Professor David Benyon and Dr Oli Mival, who developed the concept for an innovative app in which to explore a virtual Scotland.

The final ScotlandVR app was created by Edinburgh-based digital and creative agency Whitespace in association with VisitScotland and Edinburgh Napier University.

The app launches with 26 attractions, but future phases of the software will see attractions added through refreshed content.

The landmark locations for launch were chosen from set criteria including footfall, product diversity and online searches, showcasing attractions with innovative architecture and design and links to the current 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

The app is available for all Android and Apple users to download for free on Google Play and Apple Store.