WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Doughboy Foundation has released the World War I Virtual Explorer App in cooperation with the United States World War One Centennial Commission.
The free augmented reality smartphone app allows users to take a virtual field trip to the National WWI Memorial being built in Washington D.C.
The app features a scaled version of the entire 1.8-acre WWI Memorial.
The virtual memorial is also filled with WWI explorations and discoveries, including video game style 3D stories and more than 50 videos integrated into the 3D space. Together they present various aspects of WWI, “The War that Changed the World,” according to officials.
The memorial and app are dedicated to recognizing that World War I was a “deeply traumatic human experience,” officials said. “It was a historical event that affected every household and person in the nation… A story powerfully told by the WWI Memorial’s central feature, a 58-foot long, 38 figure bronze sculpture called ‘A Soldier’s Journey,’ created by sculptor Sabin Howard.”
To remember the individuals who served, the app provides the ability for families and organizations to submit a “Virtual Remembrance” of World War I veterans, along with anyone who served in the war, including nurses, ambulance drivers, Red Cross volunteers, local heroes, and even companies that stepped up. The only requirement is that the story of service needs to be World War I driven.
These Virtual Remembrances are submitted via a web page accessed through the app, curated, and then included in the app. The story of service that is submitted is turned into speech and text, which can be listened to or read.
And while the National WWI Memorial is still under construction, the “Virtual Explorer” allows users to drop in on the construction site and see what they are up to. They can see the most current still, watch a time lapse video of the construction, or select any date and time of day in the past to explore a high-resolution image of the construction activity at that time.
“This WWI Memorial comes to our nation’s capital 100 years after WWI transformed our country in unimagined ways. 4.7 million Americans put on the uniform and we mobilized a force of 2 million from a standing army of less than 130,000 — all in just 18 short months,” said Dan Dayton, executive director for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. “The War that Changed the World was transformational for the nation and for the world. This new ability to see it ‘in person’ is truly remarkable.”
The WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer App is available on the Apple App Store. There are no costs and no in-game purchases required. It is suitable for any age above 12 year old with some depictions of battles and wounded soldiers.