Augmented Reality Avatar James May Is Your New Museum Buddy

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Unlike Tupac, BBC host James May doesn't have to be dead before we get an augmented reality version of him. Granted, this is not quite as thrilling as having a Hologram Tupac Shakur perform as if still living, but as far as museum guides go, an augmented reality miniature man is a pretty sweet deal.

For its Making of the Modern World exhibit—which is curated around the specific technologies that have advanced human history—The Science Museum in London has created a downloadable app (for both iOS and Android) that features "Top Gear" host and tech-buff James May as your own personal museum tour guide.


Once downloaded, you need only point your phone at a targeted marker for Mr. May to appear in all his three-dimensional glory on the screen of your smartphone or tablet. Your position in relation to the marker directly effects Mr. May's. So, if you were to walk 180 degree around it, you would see the opposite of Mr. May's body. Through nine installments in the gallery, he will talk to you and move just as if he were there in the flesh, your own diminutive downloadable docent!

Probably the coolest part of all this is that you don't even need to be in London to get the James May Experience. The museum has made available downloadable PDFs of their May markers; just print it out and point your phone at marker, and the same informative routine being delivered to the museum vistors will be performed right in your very own home. [Wired - Image via Ariel Zambelich/Wired]