New Web AR at Trinity Church

The Trinity Church Wall Street is an active Episcopal parish that features historic sites and architecture in the heart of New York City. With the goal of reaching a variety of visitors and teaching them about the Church and its offerings, Cortina Productions has been collaborating with digital service agency, Forum One, and Trinity to create an engaging augmented reality experience that invites visitors to explore the history of the Church and its grounds.

Noticing a trend that visitors were less likely to download a native app on site, we proposed developing the Trinity AR experience as a Web AR application, which can be accessed through any web browser without the need to download a separate app. As Cortina’s Principal of Operations, Bryan Heisey states, “We’re seeing visitors’ willingness to download apps diminishing. If the app only serves a short-term purpose, most visitors are less likely to add it to their device. Covid rejuvenated and popularized the QR code. We’re seeing that most people are more willing to scan a QR code to launch a web app than to download a native one. WebAR reduces the barrier to entry and still provides an engaging experience for visitors.”

While a relatively new approach to augmented reality content, Web AR is widely accessible, which is a huge benefit to many of our clients. To develop the experience for Trinity Church, we utilized the program 8th Wall, which enabled us to create original AR content and host that content on any web browser through their proprietary framework.

On site, specific signs tell visitors to access the Trinity AR tour by scanning a QR code. As users reach a particular stop on the tour, they can then scan an object in the physical space to bring up informational content about that locatio n, such as a description of its history and significance, images, and videos. With the intention  to expand content points, the project is currently in development for three tours inside and outside of the Church and around the Churchyard, which relate to themes regarding the Church’s initiatives and mission. The AR experience allows Trinity Church to bring its history to life for public visitors and congregation members alike.

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