Press Release - StoryTourist Sherlock Holmes Launch
● StoryTourist is a new app that provides an immersive, on-location storytelling experience through augmented reality.
● StoryTourist is launching with a Sherlock Holmes StoryTour set in London.
● The app is free to download, and the tour will be offered free of charge for the summer.
New app lets you step into a Sherlock Holmes story in London
The story experience app StoryTourist, launched earlier this week, brings location tourism to the smartphone age.
With StoryTourist, users can step into stories on-location and on-demand through the magic of augmented reality. The first of its experiences – in a series of StoryTours’ – will be an adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes short story.
The approximately 90 minutes long tour is now available, and will be free of charge for the summer, for London visitors and natives alike.
“You could compare StoryTourist to a story scavenger hunt,” says Johanna Forsman, who, together with partner Andreas Jansson, founded Velodrom AB– the company behind the app.
After a couple of years in development, StoryTourist is now available for both iOS and Android, and is launching its first tour: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncleby Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The tour starts – as the story does – at 221B Baker Street in London, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes and the real location of the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The user then follows Sherlock and Watson through London as they try to solve the case of a stolen precious gem, passing the Sherlock Holmes statue and Covent Garden before finishing at the Sherlock Holmes pub.
“We had to tweak some things in the story to better fit the tour,”says Evan Farbstein, who produced the app’s adaptation of the story. “But I was surprised by how many of the places mentioned in the story – which takes place in the late 19th century – are still around. All in all, the walk that a StoryTourist can take in 2018 is remarkably similar to the one that Sherlock and Watson went on in 1892.”
Johanna Forsman is excited that this is not a typical biography or fact-based walking tour.
“You will walk into the story and have the chance to experience the text and the settings with all its visual impact, sounds and smells,” Johanna Forsman says.
According to the founders, StoryTourist has the potential to not only be a new way of experiencing stories, but a new way of traveling as well.
“The tourism industry has already developed the interest in location tourism through popular film and TV series. We are convinced that all book lovers and nerds out there will have the same passion to visit the locations mentioned in their favourite stories,” Johanna Forsman explains.
The tour uses GPS to determine when the user has reached the correct location, then presents the corresponding segment of the story in both text and audio. The user also has the ability to immerse themselves even further by taking photographs using customized filters – allowing them to wear Sherlock’s iconic pipe and hat while standing out front of 221B Baker Street, for example.
Before launching, StoryTourist had already caught some interest in its development stage. They participated in the Dutch Renew The Bookbook innovation accelerator. At FutureBookin London, StoryTourist was one of five finalists nominated for Booktech Company of the Year. The competition was arranged by the industry magazine The Bookseller, and StoryTourist was the only non-Anglo-Saxon company shortlisted.
“Since the app was still in development, we were greatly motivated to get it done by the honourable mention we got as the first runner up,” says Johanna Forsman.
Next up after Sherlock Holmes, StoryTourist has a long queue of stories they’d like to tour-ify, both on their own and in collaboration with others. Velodrom, StoryTourist’s parent company, is in negotiations with international publishers regarding using the app to promote their new releases.
Contacts: For more information and to get in contact with Velodrom please contact Marthina Elmqvist at +46 708-929594 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Press pictures: Vibeke Specht