Forget Pokemon, Rugby’s getting a WW1 tank

A virtual First World War tank will be appearing in Rugby today NNL-160209-140957001
A virtual First World War tank will be appearing in Rugby today NNL-160209-140957001

Rugby will be joining in a special event today, Thursday, to mark 100 years since the first tank attack, which took place as part of the Battle of the Somme.

This major change in how war was fought took place as part of a British offensive against the German forces on September 15, 1916.

And now the latest technology is being used to give people in Rugby chance to experience what that first tank was like.

From today a virtual Mark 1 tank will be positioned near Rugby’s memorial gates.

People who download a special free app, produced in conjunction with the tank museum in Bovington will be able to explore the inside and outside of the tank, also allowing the user to place a tank in a location of their choice, and even take pictures of it featuring themselves, family or friends.

The app is availoable on iOS and Android and has been produced by the company Wargaming, the name behind the popular World of Tanks game.

A spokesman said: “Virtual reality has gripped the nation this year with the popular Pokémon Go game, and ‘Tank 100’ works in the same way.

“Through the app, users can experience life-size augmented reality Mark I tanks at prime locations in towns and cities across the UK, as well as view stunning 360 virtual reality films of tanks in action.”

The app was developed by Ballista Digital, a specialist in producing history-based apps for museums and its chief executive Tom Clifford, added: “We are very excited about working with Wargaming to create this opportunity for tank enthusiasts to ‘virtually’ experience the Mark I tank.

“The app will help bring the story of the development of the tank to life, and is the start of an ongoing augmented reality and virtual reality app experience that will track the history of the tank through the 20th Century.”

Future versions of the app will have additional World war I and later 20th Century tanks to coincide with key anniversaries.

The augmented reality 3D model tanks will also be enhanced to allow users to interact and take control of the tanks themselves.

Today’s anniversary will not only see the appearance of the virtual tank in Rugby but there will also be a special event in London to mark the day.