The PEAR app in a tablet

New smartphone app aims to increase public engagement in local issues

Media Technology researchers have developed an app that can be used for voting and visualizing the results using Augmented Reality.

How can we get the public engaged in the development of the Ringsberg/Kristineberg area of Växjö? In order to break new ground, the municipality of Växjö turned to the Department of Media Technology at Linnaeus University. The result is PEAR, short for Augmented Reality for Public Engagement – an app for smartphones.

As an initial case, the app can be used to vote about the future development of the Ringsberg/Kristineberg area of central Växjö. Members of the public can vote for one out of four alternatives using their Twitter accounts, and also use the PEAR 4 VXO app to see an interactive, augmented reality visualization of the ongoing results.

The official launch took place during the Vårstad event on May 28, and the test is expected to last a couple of months. PEAR has been developed by Dr Aris Alissandrakis and deputy researcher Nico Reski from the department of Media Technology, in collaboration with Jonna Wehlin from Växjö municipality. The PEAR project is also part of the Digital Humanities initiative at Linnaeus University.

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