Kennedy and Moon Landing: Augmented Reality App (AR)–Commemorating 50th Anniversary

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library has released an augmented reality app (AR) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and the role President Kennedy in getting the U.S. to the moon.

The app, which is available for free for iPhones and Android, lets users relive the Apollo 11 mission in their living room, and visit a life-sized model of the Saturn V rocket on the library grounds in Boston.

The app has been created by digital marketing agency Digitas, which began working on the project together with the JFK Library around a year ago. Digitas vice president Mark Phillip said that his team was looking to stand out from the numerous other docus and apps celebrating the iconic mission: “We thought: How can we celebrate it in a way that hasn’t been done before?”

The unique app combines AR technology with both location and a real-time component. After installing the app, users can put a digital overlay of the Saturn V rocket onto their living room carpet, and test the thrusters to see the spacecraft burn some fuel — but the actual mission won’t begin until the day of the 50th anniversary. “On 9:32am on July 16, the rocket will launch, just like it did 50 years ago,” said Phillip.

The AR version will last more than 120 hours, just like the actual moon landing and commence on July 20 with a touch-down on the moon surface — think of it as a recreation of the entire mission in real time.