Kean University Researchers Recreating History Through Augmented Reality

Professor Ed Johnston and student researchers within the Michael Graves College at Kean University recently announced Liberty Hall 360, a collaborative research initiative with Liberty Hall Museum in Union.

Using 360-degree augmented reality video technology, Liberty Hall 360 plans to recreate the April 28, 1774 wedding of John Jay, a founding father and the first Chief Justice of the United States, to Sarah Livingston at Liberty Hall

“Using your smartphone, you can experience something that happened in the 1700s by simply downloading an app and taking a step back in time,” said student researcher Mac Peters.

The planned video reenactment will be easily accessible online and via mobile devices. Through the use of virtual reality glasses, viewers will be fully immersed in the space and experience it as a guest at the wedding.

“We’re excited by the prospect of using this technology to showcase the rich history of Kean University and its integral relationship with the history of the United States,” said Johnston.

The Liberty Hall 360 fund raising campaign launched on KeanLift, the Kean Foundation’s crowdfunding platform. The project aims to raise $5,000 towards the purchase of a high quality 360-degree video camera. Utilizing props and period clothing, the collaborators plan to recreate Liberty Hall’s Great Hall as it may have looked the day of Jay and Livingston’s wedding. The experience will transport visitors to the 18th century through the power of technology.

The researchers also hope to create opportunities for the next generation of Kean University students.

“With your support, this project will allow future students to explore other exciting virtual reality opportunities,” said Peters. “We plan to create an immersive experience where students of all ages can come in and take a moment to experience something that happened hundreds of years ago.”

Liberty Hall 360 is sponsored by a Students Partnering with Faculty Summer Research Award and the K-LABS Design Studio, a faculty-led design studio within the Michael Graves College at Kean University that creates real solutions for public service and non-profit organizations. Visit https://keanlift.kean.edu/LibertyHall360 to learn more.


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