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App takes you in the trenches of Somme
12:47pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in Business
TWO entrepreneurs have used cutting-edge technology to bring a poignant period of history to life.
Pocket Tours apps have been launched to help people revist the battlefields of the First World War from their armchairs using the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
The technology allows users to view photographs, hear original sound clips and watch film footage, as well as listen to analysis from world-renowned historians about what happened, who was involved and how history was shaped.
The app brings history to life by enabling the user to visit the battlefield or region and undertake a GPS guided tour while listening to the commentary and seeing where historic events took place through the live camera.
The app focuses on The Battle of the Somme, one of the UK Army’s major Western Front offensives.
Starting at 7.30am on July 1, 1916, the battle raged for 149 days. There were 57,470 casualties and 19,240 fatalities on the first day alone, marking it as the blackest day in the history of the British Army.
The idea of North-East entrepreneur Mark Jackson, Pocket Tours is the first battlefield tour app which uses all the technology features of the Apple devices.
“Imagine walking over the ground that shaped history alongside an expert who can explain the events as they unfolded,” he said.
“The GPS guides you from point to point using the knowledge of the historians to make sure you see things from the best vantage points.
“This makes a tour of the battlefields accessible to anyone, anywhere at any time.”
Now that the initial platform has been implemented, there are many other applications in the pipeline.
Future apps include tours of the D-Day landings, the Battle of Waterloo, a historic tour of Scarborough, and an account of the genocide in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Negotiations are under way with a number of parties to extend the range further.
An active member of the Territorial Army for more than 26 years, Mr Jackson will donate some of the app’s funds to soldiers’ charity the Army Benevolent Fund.