Digital mockup of an illustration of Theodore Roosevelt on a phone screen. Behind it is an American flag.
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary

Theodore Roosevelt Augmented Reality (TRAR) Experience

The TRAR app brings Teddy Roosevelt to your phone in a new and exciting way!
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary

Theodore Roosevelt Augmented Reality (TRAR) Experience

The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center is now home to an innovative augmented reality (AR) experience. Starting summer 2023, guests can visit the Center and come face-to-face and interact with an AR representation of Theodore Roosevelt.

This immersive AR experience is accessible through the TRAR™ mobile app, which is compatible with both Android and Apple devices. TRAR™ allows guests of all ages to have their very own historical adventure by visiting the Center and having the former president be their guide to its iconic sights and fascinating stories. 

This exciting experience and all of its content are free of charge and available to anyone with a mobile phone.

360XR™ is the developer of the TRAR™ app. 360XR™ is an AR start-up specializing in historical content, focusing chiefly on Extended Reality (XR), including both Augmented and Virtual Reality. Their new AR technology allows visitors to use their cell phones to bring history to life. And to have personal interactions with historical figures as the virtual world and reality combine. The app works by having a 3D AR version of Teddy Roosevelt stand before guests through their camera's lens, and speak of how his adventurous life and the people he encountered inspired his lifelong dedication to protecting nature.

The experience is divided into five scenes. Each scene is located at a stopping point along the trail that runs beside the visitor center. The points are clearly marked with a stones featuring an engraving of Theodore Roosevelt. The app will provide instructions on where to go and how to find Teddy.

A large, flat stone on the ground with a bust of Theodore Roosevelt engraved into it. Engraved text on the stone reads: Stop 1
Keep an eye out for 5 of these stone markers along the Sanctuary's gardens and trails! Photo: Kathryn D'Amico/Audubon

When visitors aim their phone's camera at the first stop, Teddy comes alive to stand in front of you and tells how a sickly boy born and raised in New York City grew to be a passionate outdoorsman and naturalist, eventually becoming known as Conservationist-in-Chief after his significant contribution to preserving the natural wonders and resources of the nation.

"You'll see a 3D model of Theodore Roosevelt stand before you, as he would have stood over 100 years ago, and tell stories of his childhood and the interactions he had within the very same surroundings the guests now stand in," said Jack Stevenson of 360XR™. "And he's telling his stories directly to you."

At the next stop, Teddy discusses the establishment of the U.S. National Parks and his motivations for expanding their numbers and acreage.

While listening to Teddy speak, you may notice the accuracy of his tone of voice and mannerisms of speech. The TRAR™ experiences incorporate the voice of world-renowned Theodore Roosevelt impersonator Joe Wiegand. Wiegand has portrayed President Roosevelt in all fifty U.S. states as well as the Whitehouse. Joe's voice adds depth to the character, enhancing the immersive nature of the tour.

"It makes for a very personal and authentic experience," Stevenson said.

While at the third stop, Teddy speaks to you of his expedition to Africa to collect natural specimens for American museums, but with the journey involving hypocrisies, Teddy explains the reasons behind his actions.

When you reach the fourth stop, Teddy, shares his lifelong passion for birds with you and explains the importance of establishing national forests and sanctuaries to assist in preserving bird populations as the fashion industry works towards their possible extinction.

And to conclude your AR tour, Teddy describes the origins of his namesake, the teddy bear, and how a beloved figure in almost all children's lives is a legacy to a man that saved a bear's life and became internationally known for his love of nature.

In the words of the Center's director Kathryn D'Amico, "What better way to honor the conservation legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt than to see him come to life right here in the TR Sanctuary gardens? We have just completed a renovation at the TRSAC, and welcome visitors to come experience not only our new center but the amazing TRAR app experience. Through the stories told by TR, we can learn that we all play a role in the preservation and conservation of the natural world. Audubon does not only connect people with nature but strives for our communities to take purposeful action to protect birds and the places they need, and the places people need!"

A generous grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation funds the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center's TRAR™ experience.

TRAR™ is the newest installment of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation initiative called Digital Tapestry™. Digital Tapestry™ is a series of Augmented Reality experiences across Long Island. The project seeks to enhance visitor engagement with the island's historical sites and museums. Digital Tapestry™ experiences currently fall under three themes: 1776AR focuses on the American Revolution, 1502AR highlights African American Culture, and TRAR is all about Theodore Roosevelt. 

The Digital Tapestry™ initiative currently offers over 60 unique AR experiences across 11 locations on Long Island. The museums and historical sites each offer unique experiences and stories but have the same underlining theme of the significant events that occurred on Long Island. While providing countless narrations and tales, the sites also promote each other by encouraging guests to visit the others so that a full spectrum of history and knowledge can be shared and experienced.

A map of Long Island showing the 11 Digital Tapestry sites.
The 360XR™ Digital Tapestry sites are spread across Long Island.

To experience TRAR™ at Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, you can simply begin by downloading the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store, then visit the Center's grounds and follow the instructions in the app to bring history to life and have an unforgettable experience.

Our staff are happy to guide visitors through the app! Stop by our Visitor Center, located at 134 Cove Road in Oyster Bay, NY, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM to get started.

Two logos side to side. The left is for the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, the right is for 360XR.

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