Anzacs reach next generation through new app

Warrant Officer Bruce Harvey was humbled to be featured alongside a VC recipient in an extended reality app that immerses users in military history.

CAPTION: Warrant Officer Bruce Harvey, left, and Mr Keith Payne VC stand in the Military Museum at Comet Bay College in Secret Harbour, WA. Story by Peta Magorian.

Comet Bay College, in West Australia’s Secret Harbour, was involved in developing the ANZAC XR app and launched it to a small gathering of state government representatives, Defence veterans and ADF personnel on April 5.

ANZAC XR is a free, interactive app which uses the latest augmented reality (AR) technology to transport users to historic locations of military significance, and get up close and personal with Australian heroes, military vehicles and equipment.

Warrant Officer Harvey is featured in the app’s gallery of honour along with Keith Payne VC, and said he was eager to be involved in the opportunity “to use technology platforms such as this to engage with the youth of today and pass on our stories for generations to come”.

“Having our stories immortalised for the future and used as interactive educational resources across Australia will inspire more people to learn about why we wear the Australian Defence Force uniforms with pride and what the Anzac spirit means,” Warrant Officer Harvey said.

Developed by Viewport XR and funded by a Saluting their Service grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ANZAC XR is a tool for the classroom or anyone interested in Australian military history.

The app has five main features, including; augmented reality heroes who share their stories of service in a life-like 3D animation; augmented reality vehicles, uniforms and equipment; augmented reality portals that provide the user with a 360-degree immersive experience in locations relevant to military history; a gallery of honour featuring portraits and videos of veterans, and a notification function that alerts the user to significant military dates in Australia’s history.

Comet Bay College principal Kelly Bennett said she was thrilled the college was given the opportunity to develop the cutting-edge app.

“The augmented reality military vehicles and equipment can be viewed either miniature or life-sized, giving users a 360-degree immersive experience to further enhance their understanding of military history and experiences,” Ms Bennett said.

“The software developed will allow us to add more characters, features and content down the track, ensuring the app is an unlimited educational resource.”

Comet Bay College year 10 student Vaanya Agarwal had a sneak peak at the app during its soft launch and was impressed by the clarity and detail in the AR technology.

“I’m really looking forward to exploring the app more. I think it has a lot of really interesting features,” she said.

ANZAC XR can be downloaded Australia-wide and will be available for free on the Apple and Google Play platforms from April 25.


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