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Leading tech firm launches Shakespearean experience

The visual discovery and augmented reality app, Blippar, is bringing the work of Shakespeare to life as part of a series of events to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. Blippar, which last month secured $54 million in Series D funding, is promoting Shakespeare’s contribution to contemporary British culture and society by using its innovative technology to bring to life interesting and surprising Shakespearean content relating to 100 everyday objects.

For example, users of the smartphone app will be able to scan (or ‘blipp’) a bus and discover that the origins of the Oyster Card stem from a line in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ in which one of the characters famously says: “the world’s thine oyster.”

Blippar has employed the expertise of Arts & Humanities students from King’s College London to curate the interesting content surrounding Shakespeare’s significance and relevance with present day objects. The app has already gone live ahead of the anniversary of his death on Saturday 23rd April.

Omaid Hiwaizi, Blippar’s Head of Global Marketing, said: “Due to the way Shakespeare can sometimes be taught in schools, many people feel challenged early on and can find his work difficult to engage with. Our ambition is to reverse this by highlighting Shakespeare in the world around us, making him the accessible character he always was. The involvement of King’s College London in curating the content has been paramount to the success of the activation. The dedication and level of commitment and knowledge displayed by the students, has been exemplary.”

Professor Gordon McMullan, Director, London Shakespeare Centre, King’s College London added: “I am constantly amazed by the enduring nature of Shakespeare's work and how, even 400 years after his death, his influence is felt by people of all ages and in every corner of the globe. The students who’ve helped with the development of content for the app have really valued being involved with Blippar and their team. It’s been inspiring to see a university and a leading-edge tech company working together to bring Shakespeare to life, in a way which is accessible, engaging and, importantly, fun.”

The Blippar initiative is part of Shakespeare400, a consortium of 25 leading cultural, creative and educational organizations that will mark the 400the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death through a connected series of public performances, programmes, exhibitions and creative activities in the capital and beyond.

Rosemary Hilhorst, British Council’s Director Shakespeare Lives said: "Our Shakespeare Lives campaign wants to reach as many people as possible with the timeless quality of Shakespeare's work. His plays and poetry are about people, their relationships and emotions and remain as relevant as today as ever. Blippar is at the cutting edge of digital technology, yet Shakespeare's found his place as easily in the world of augmented reality as he has everywhere else over the last 400 years."

About Blippar:

Blippar is a leading technology company specialising in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and computer vision. Its flagship product, Blippar, is the leading augmented reality and visual search app. Utilising proprietary, best-in-class technology, the Blippar app enables users to instantaneously discover more about the world around them. Using the Blippar app, people can blipp ("scan") objects they’re curious about and unlock useful and entertaining content. Since launching in the UK in 2011, Blippar has expanded rapidly, partnering with some of the biggest and most exciting media owners and brands in the world -- including Nestlé, Condé Nast, TIME Inc., Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Heinz, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, and Jaguar. Blippar Inc. also includes Blippar Lab, the company’s innovation and R&D unit as well as Blippar Education, which focuses on the educational sector. In May 2015, Blippar was named to the CNBC Disruptor 50 list.

To learn more, please visit blippar.com.

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