New “Visit Houston AR” App Helps Attendees Discover the City
Everyone who has attended an event understands that their schedule will be packed with activities. The days leading up to the event are equally busy, leaving little time to plan ahead for social activities or really get to know much about the destination.
Houston First Corporation (HFC) is trying to solve that problem for visitors to the city of Houston, Texas - with a mobile application. In 2014, HFC joined forces with The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau to represent the city under the brand Visit Houston. The new “Visit Houston AR” app is an augmented reality browser that allows users to discover many of the city’s offerings through the lens of their phones.
The app accesses the phone’s camera to open the augmented reality view. Users see a menu of nearby sites including restaurants, hotels, and attractions – all relative to their location. Listings can be filtered and expanded to show additional content including descriptions, photos, ratings, and a map with walking directions.
The Visit Houston website is tied into the app, allowing users to access the site for additional information without ever leaving the augmented reality experience.
Event professionals planning meetings in Houston can share the app information with attendees to help them make the most of their leisure time and learn more about the city.
One of Houston First’s goals is to make Houston more accessible to visitors, according to its team.
“Visit Houston AR is an engaging, user-friendly resource that will enhance our overall visitor experience,” said Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation.
"For convention-goers in particular, often there is little time to explore the city you’re in,” added Leah Shah, public relations director at HFC.
Shah continued, “With this tool, we’ve removed the hassle of planning. Now, attendees can step outside, point their phones in any direction, and see everything Houston has to offer in the immediate vicinity.”
HFC has plans to expand the Visit Houston AR capabilities to improve the overall user experience. In addition to enhancing navigation options, the app ultimately will include the ability to make reservations at local restaurants and hotels, make travel arrangements through local transportation services and reserve parking.
Other planned updates include local attraction and event ticket purchases and push notifications to alert users of nearby sales and relevant events based on their previous searches and interests.
The free Visit Houston AR app is available for both iPhone and Android users.
To see the app in action, watch this short video.
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