Skip to main content

WVU College of Media faculty, students to launch Kickstarter campaign for virtual and augmented reality app that shares stories of African American WWI veterans

In an ongoing effort to uncover the hidden stories of African American veterans, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media is partnering with Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust to develop an app that would allow users to travel back in history.

wwi veterans

The app, TimeMap, will chart historic black veteran memorials across the country, as well as collect and share the stories of the African American experience during World War I.

To help support the development of the app, students in Associate Professor Joel Beeson’s storytelling class will launch a Kickstarter campaign this Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

TimeMap will combine virtual and augmented reality technology with community participation to create an immersive experience that preserves a significant era of American history. The app will allow smartphone, tablet and Google cardboard users to visit memorial sites in 360° from anywhere in the world and travel back in time with augmented reality content. Audiences will be able to access historical photos, film and audio through the app, as well as pin their own images, stories and documents to a virtual “wall” at the memorial sites.

Beeson hopes the app will help a new audience, with new technology, discover a little-known part of American history that can shed important light on today’s racial climate.

wwi veteran vr

“The black veterans of WWI returned home to become foot soldiers for civil rights in America,” said Beeson. “The WWI black experience was part of the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.”

The anticipated release date for TimeMap will coincide with the upcoming U.S. WWI Centennial in 2017.

Read the official release at WVU Today.