Christopher Repka: Utilizing Augmented Reality to Create a Virtual Museum at Mission Concepción in San Antonio, TX

Hello, my name is Chris Repka, and I am in my last year as an undergraduate student of Public History at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. This past summer, I was a recipient of a research grant from St. Mary’s University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. For my summer research project, I began the development of an augmented reality application for Android and iPhone for use on San Antonio’s Mission Trail, which was recently designated a World Heritage Site. I began constructing virtual exhibits for users of the application to experience while visiting Mission Concepcion, but the bulk of the work that was completed was developing the framework for exhibit creation.

In this presentation, I will present my augmented reality mobile application as a powerful means of experiencing and discovering the history of a place while present at an historical site. Not intended to replace or contest park interpreters, the application serves as an effective means of engaging visitors with documents, academic studies, and artifacts while remaining engaged with an historic site. In this presentation, I will also discuss long-term development goals for this smartphone application. I hope to have a fully developed beta version of this application available on the iPhone App Store and Google Play for Android devices for use at Mission Concepcion within the next year.

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