Cold doesn't keep me from walking, but cold combined with freezing rain? That's a horse of a different color, which is how I found myself walking indoor laps and playing Pokémon GO during a recent stay at Milwaukee icon, The Pfister Hotel. As I meandered along the second floor corridor overlooking the lobby, to my delight, I found that The Pfister has an augmented reality art tour – called appropriately enough, The Pfister Augmented Reality Tour (PAR).
Melding 21st century technology with the history and tradition, PAR allows guests and public alike to tour the hotel’s historic features and expansive Victorian art collection in an immersive experience. It is a modern twist on the traditional art tour offered by the hotel, providing users with additional historical features, games and video content to view on their smartphones.
As we were about to check out I didn’t have a lot of time to play with PAR, but what I did experience was enough to have me looking forward to my next visit so that I can explore more.
Set up is easy:
1. Use your phone and simply download the Wikitude app. For iPhone/iPad: Visit the Apple App store to download The Pfister Hotel - AR Art Tour. For Android: Visit the Google Play store to download The Pfister Hotel - Art Tour.
2. Now you’re ready to begin interacting with the artwork. Throughout the hotel you will find several pieces of scan-able artwork marked with score cards located next to each “active” piece. To help finding these there are maps showing where the scan-able pieces are located.
3. Once you have interacted with the pieces, you can check them off on the list in the app. For completing the tour you will be rewarded with a special pricing on the award-winning book, The History, Art and Imagery of The Pfister Hotel, available for purchase at the Front Desk.
Current pieces with augmented content include: Dick & Harry (Lion Sculptures), Breakfast, Ben Marcus Bust, Ceiling, Fireplace, Time Capsule, Royal Love Feast, Thermostat, Fortune Teller, Kittens, Flirtation, Card Game and Mahomet.
High tech. meets fine art in an environment that is steeped in history, and with spectacular architecture as the cheery on top. It doesn’t get much better than that!