Ibsen brought back to life with new augmented reality app
With VisitOSLO’s new AR- app “Oslo Spex” you can join Henrik Ibsen, the famous Norwegian playwright and “the father of realism”, on a tour through the streets of Oslo.
More than a 100 years ago, Henrik Ibsen was a well-known sight on the streets of Oslo – and now he’s back, says Widar Pastoor at VisitOSLO. He continues: – The format is playful and engaging – you can even take a picture with Ibsen!
Oslo Spex is a new augmented reality (AR)-application, free of charge, for smart phones with a focus on Henrik Ibsen and Oslo. In the app you get information through sound and text, both in English and Norwegian.
Take a walk in the footsteps of Ibsen
In the app, we have put together many different stories about Ibsen’s life, art and his relationship with Oslo. In the app, you will find a full-scale animation of Ibsen, located in six places around the city, which all have a connection to Ibsen’s life and work, including outside the Ibsen Museum (Ibsen’s former flat) and Grand Hotel. The app is equipped with an interactive map that makes it easy to locate the spots where Ibsen appears.
Ibsen lived in a completely different time and in a city that looked quite different from what it does today. In the 19th century, Oslo was named Christiania and was only five per cent of the population it is today. The Oslo Spex app brings Ibsen’s fascinating world back to life.
The making of a true Henrik Ibsen
The “Oslo Spex”- app has been developed through a collaboration between VisitOSLO, the Norwegian technology company Haptiq AS and The Norwegian Ibsen Company, founded by Kåre Conradi. The latter has prepared script and direction.
“It has been important for us to be true to Ibsen’s appearance and his demeanour. Ibsen has been described by others as everything from warm and funny to hard, cold and distanced with a razor-sharp look. His distinctive features lie in the details,” says Conradi.
Kåre Conradi is one of Norway’s leading actors on Ibsen and a life-time employee at The National Theatre of Norway. Many will also recognize him from the role Jens Smit in Netflix’ Viking drama Norsemen.
It has been a challenging task to make a credible Henrik Ibsen. There are no audio recordings or film clips of him. Inspiration is taken from photos, drawings, paintings and what has been said and written about him. In addition, biographies and letters are used to find different character descriptions; everything to make Ibsen as close to reality as possible. The famous playwright is portrayed in the app through the Norwegian actor Jan Sælid.
The possibilities of technology
Today, we usually have a smartphone with us when exploring new places. AR- technology enables us to interact with Oslo and the city’s fascinating stories in completely new ways. Ståle Lund-Andersen, one of the founders of Haptiq AS, who have been in charge of animation and technical development in the project, says:
“The project Oslo Spex has given us the opportunity to unfold artistically and creatively. We are very pleased with the result, and hope that the users will enjoy how they get to experience Ibsen and the city of Oslo in a completely new way.”