Greg Stuart 30 April 2012

A tiny James May for your iPhone

Anyone want a virtual Captain Slow to show them around the Science Museum?

Anyone ever visited a museum and fancied having your own mini-May to guide you around the exhibits? Well it’s good news for such committed May-o-philes: this is now a reality.

Or, we should really say, an ‘augmented reality’. As part of its Making of the Modern World exhibition, the Science Museum has created an app featuring a 3D Captain Slow, complete with funky shirt, to act as your own personal tour guide.

Simply point your iPhone or iPad at an exhibit and the slightly unsettling James avatar comes to life. You’ll then be treated to our man’s unique and presumably very, very detailed insights into nine of the engineering marvels on show, including the Ford Model T, the Puffing Billy (an Aussie steam train) and the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.

To get started, download the James May’s Science Stories app from iTunes, then make your way to the Science Museum in South Kensington. And if you can’t get there in person, don’t fret, because you can recreate the experience at home – just download the app, print the augmented reality “triggers” from the Science Museum website and you’ll get May in your living room instead. You lucky buggers.

The last time May had a go at augmenting reality, it ended with people getting annoyed, walking around in circles and generally facing a worse reality than the one they had before. This time, on the basis of the video below, it looks like he’s done it properly…  

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