AR Tour Revitalizes North Broad Street, Boosts Local Business

AR tour revitalizes North Broad, boosting engagement and local business


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The North Broad Renaissance (NBR) aims to revitalize the community, create opportunities, and enhance the economic power and quality of life along Philadelphia’s North Broad Street. To help achieve these goals, NBR turned to Dream Syndicate for a technology strategy.

Along North Broad Street are 41 giant 55-foot-high public art fixtures called the North Poles. Dream Syndicate devised a strategy to use these fixtures as the basis for an Augmented Reality (AR) walking tour. This tour connects visitors and community members to NBR’s mission. The tour includes five geo-located stops, each featuring a virtual tour guide, Aunyea Lachelle, host of NBC10’s Philly Live, who shares the history and future plans at each location.

Dream Syndicate created the Lights of North Broad mobile app to facilitate the tour. The app includes a user-friendly map of the North Broad corridor, details and images of each stop, real-time directions, and AR experiences with the virtual tour guide. Aunyea Lachelle was filmed in a studio, and her performances were turned into AR-compatible videos with background removal and transition effects to make her virtual presence feel real.

This innovative project offers AR experiences across five historically significant locations, spanning two miles. The Lights of North Broad AR app also encourages users to shop at local businesses by offering discounts and coupons.

Through AR, the Lights of North Broad tour enhances community and business engagement, educates users about the corridor’s history, and promotes future investments. This project gives purpose to North Broad Street’s public art fixtures while increasing the visibility of this historically significant area. The Lights of North Broad mobile app was made possible with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Comcast, in collaboration with Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners.

Rrahul Sethi
June 3, 2024
5 min read