Traveltech Lab member and innovative 3D live action visual interface Timelooper is the realisation of long-standing dream for founder and chief executive Yigit Yigiter.
The augmented reality mobile technology, today brought to life through Google’s Cardboard, was the subject of a dissertation Yigiter wrote in 2006 for Harvard where he studied for an MBA.
The Istanbul-based entrepreneur said a combination of the technology now being available and the London & Partners start-up incubator has given him the platform to establish the company.
The incubator that officially opened last week by Prince Andrew is now home to 13 start-ups, having had initial interest from 880 potential incumbents.
Yigiter said the inspiration for finally going ahead and creating Timelooper was when his wife, who works for Google, came home with Cardboard last year.
The simple flatpack head set turns mobile smartphones into a 3D viewer. “I thought this was a perfect match for what I had always wanted to do, so I quit my job,” said Yigiter.
Timelooper plans to launch initially in London, with content for around ten popular tourist attractions in the city available through the app.
The app allows the visitor to get a more immersive experience enabling them to ‘see’ the world around them as it once was.
As the user moves the view moves with them, they are given a 360 degree experience of their surroundings, with the history of the place they are in layered over the reality.
Yigiter said: “London is one of the most visited cities in the world and London & Partners are providing me with all the connections that I need. That’s why I’m starting here.”
After London, Timelooper plans to launch virtual tours for other cities in the US like Washington and Boston, as well as destinations in Turkey.
Initially the firm hopes to build partnerships with attraction sites who will create the content that will encourage users to download and use the app.
But it is also open to discussions about uses for the technology by tour operators and other suppliers and retailers who see advantages to using what Timelooper says is a pioneering 3D visual interface.
Sponsorship opportunities will be sought and new content ideas for Timelooper, for instance giving visitors an experience of what a destination might look like in the future.
Another idea is to make the technology available at attractions like sport stadium tours so visitors can get an idea of what it’s like to be at an actual match, or a famous game played at the stadium.