Network Rail app to use AR to show passengers the next generation of railway footbridges

Network Rail has introduced an augmented reality-based smartphone application, called ARki, which supports the railway company’s engagement with passengers by allowing them to see the replacement of footbridges at train stations.

The app, developed by London-based Darf Design, highlights 3D visualisations of planned buildings in place helping passengers and local communities to see their future as the railway firm deploys its next generation of signature footbridges named The Beacon, The Ribbon, and The Frame.

Sahar Fikouhi, founder of Darf Design and developer of ARki, said: “Our vision is to allow designers to share their 3D models in the real world. It’s very rare for the public to have this access to genuine architects’ drawings and this is one of the first examples of one-to-one scale visualisations of future projects. The app is helping to democratise the way structures are designed and built by giving the public this access at early stages of design selection.”

Darf Design was recently shortlisted as one of the 10 companies to join Digital Catapult’s Augmentor programme, which is helping to accelerate UK investment in immersive technologies such as AR.

In addition, the government-funded High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project, along with the National College for High Speed Rail, and business management consultant Inventya, will develop an AR training app for the station’s future staff that will run the HS2 north London super hub at Old Oak Common. The AR training will have spin-off benefits for developing Old Oak Common station itself.

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