Thursday, December 8

Durham company uses new technology to tell tales about the city’s past

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham company is using new technology to tell tales about the city’s past.

The Durham Production Company, a local theatre and digital production company, has a new augmented reality experience with a Halloween twist.

Their AR Ghost Hunt part of their augmented reality series, “Project Aeschylus.”

In the ghost hunt, you’ll find ghosts all around downtown Durham– and they’ll be hiding in your phone.

“They’re all these kind of whimsical little guys scattered around downtown,” said J.L. Klinck, Artistic Director, with the Durham Production Company. “Each one of them is kind of themed around what they’re doing.”

All you have to do is download a free app called ‘Membit’ and you’ll see a list of AR ghosts to track down.

From there, you can click on a ghost and follow the instructions to find one.

“You don’t really understand the impact that [augmented reality] has until you see it,” Klinck said. “It’s here now. It’s happening now. And we want to bring it here.”

(Chloe Rafferty/CBS 17)

On the ghost hunt, you’ll have the opportunity to find a bartender, a carriage riding down the street, a ghost that communicates with birds and more.

Klinck said the ghost hunt is based on fictional characters, but it’s a fun way of bringing Durham’s past to life.

The company works with resources like the Durham Public Library and the Museum of Durham History to bring historical accuracy to their AR experiences.

One of the experiences — the Tobacco Card Scavenger Hunt — follows Clara Von Faucette, a fictional 10-year-old girl who went out to run errands with her parents in 1888.

It uses real locations from Durham’s downtown scene in that time period.

In the experience, participants will help Clara find her collection of lost tobacco trading cards, the precursor to baseball trading cards.

The cards in the AR experience are based on real cards produced at the time.

“We find it really fascinating,” Klinck said. “We think that it’s an incredible tool to bring stories to life that need to be told, and also ones that are just fun.”

The ghost hunt experience is free and open to the public. It runs through midnight on Halloween.

For more information about the Durham Production Company, click here.

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