Augmented History

The Augmented History project investigates the forgotten history of Reynolds Coliseum as a major cultural center for the city of Raleigh, NC.

Opened in 1949, William Neal Reynolds Coliseum was for several decades the primary civic center for Raleigh. Over the last 70 years, many historic events have taken place there (five presidents have spoken at Reynolds, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and a number of influential musicians from Louis Armstrong to the Rolling Stones). These are events which have greatly shaped the culture of Raleigh; unfortunately, many of these events have been forgotten with the passage of time.

The Augmented History project seeks to utilize emerging technology in Augmented Reality to preserve this cultural history by allowing visitors to the coliseum to see firsthand the history that exists all around them.

This project has existed in several iterations: initially, the project was intended to be a Virtual Reality experience which would allow anyone to explore the interior of Reynolds Coliseum and the history within. Eventually, the decision was made to implement this experience in the physical location rather than in a virtual simulation (see the VR experience here–you can navigate by clicking and dragging).

As an Augmented Reality experience, this project has developed two complimentary branches: one in which Augmented Reality targets would be placed around the concourse at Reynolds Coliseum and a more specific iteration in collaboration Dr. Jason Miller, illustrating his fantastic research into the events surrounding Dr. King’s appearance at Reynolds. This second iteration included a museum exhibit in NCSU’s African-American Cultural Center.

a sample plaque which would be placed around the Coliseum
students interacting with the exhibit in NCSU’s African-American Cultural Center
demonstration of the Augmented History app