Apple CEO Tim Cook this afternoon encouraged his Twitter followers to check out the new Statue of Liberty augmented reality app for iOS, which was conceptualized by Diane von Fürstenberg to celebrate the launch of the Statue of Liberty Museum this Thursday.

According to the Vogue article on the app, it was created by the Statue of Liberty Foundation and Yap Studios. Its creation took more than a year of scanning and photography, and it offers up a time-lapse view from the statue's eyes, a look inside of it, and a time-lapse of how the color changed over time.

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The main feature, though, is several 3D models of the Statue of Liberty that can be projected into your own home. There's a full-size model plus close-ups of the torch and the Statue's foot.


The app is designed to help visitors to the museum and those who are viewing from home understand the construction and the detail of the Statue of Liberty, thanks to augmented reality. Apple was one of the donors of the project after Diane von Fürstenberg connected ‌Tim Cook‌ and the Statue of Liberty Foundation.

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"I met Tim Cook from Apple, and discovered first of all that he had never been to Liberty Island, so I arranged for him to go," DvF revealed. "Not even knowing what I was talking about, I said, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful to give people an Apple experience when they go on the Island?' I met the people who do apps and we started, not knowing where it would all end up. The foundation created this app that will reach hundreds of millions of people. It will be the biggest opening of a museum ever!"

Apple execs, including ‌Tim Cook‌, have continually touted the capabilities of augmented reality and its potential to change the world, and the Statue of Liberty app is one example that could inspire other museums and historical sites to take on similar projects.

"Augmented reality really lets you place literal objects and experience into the real world around you," DvF said. "It allows you to learn about the statue and the experience. You can place the Statue of Liberty in a class room or a living room; it's available in the Apple store in 155 countries, and with one billion devices in peoples' hands, our museum experience goes from New York to the globe!"

There's also a new "Raising the Torch" podcast, and von Fürstenberg says that a documentary about the Statue of Liberty will be released later this year. The podcast will feature different historians discussing the Statue's historical context and past.

The Statue of Liberty app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

Doctor Q Avatar
31 months ago
If you want a scientific explanation of Liberty's color changes over time, from her original reddish copper color (like a U.S. penny) to dull brown then to blue-green, check out this video about the chemistry involved ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZSLrXtg1-o'), with information from the American Chemical Society.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
flyinmac Avatar
31 months ago
Pretty cool idea. Sounds like an interesting way to view the statue for those who would otherwise never be able to go see it in person.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Simmias Avatar
31 months ago
What does AR contribute to the experience? Why not just shown a 3D model of the statue onscreen in its actual environment instead of placing it in your living room at the wrong scale? Apple has still yet to show that AR has any value on smartphones.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Defthand Avatar
31 months ago
Why not just show a 3D model of the statue onscreen in its actual environment instead of placing it in your living room at the wrong scale?
My thought too. Somehow, Lady Liberty doesn't look majestic next to empty liquor bottles and Skittles wrappers.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
31 months ago
App looks really cool. When I was younger and times were easier, my parents took me to the Statue of Liberty quite a few times.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Taipan Avatar
31 months ago
What does AR contribute to the experience? Why not just shown a 3D model of the statue onscreen in its actual environment instead of placing it in your living room at the wrong scale? Apple has still yet to show that AR has any value on smartphones.
My thoughts exactly. Just like most of the AR presentations during Apple‘s keynotes. A shooting game gains nothing from taking place on your table. If anything, it takes away from the realism.
And the „use“ of this AR function in the featured app ends after „Hey look, I have the Statue of Liberty in my living room“.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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