Aiming to capture and hold the attention of young students, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has launched a smartphone app that allows visitors to view a museum exhibit in augmented reality.

The Washington, D.C.-based museum’s app lets visitors learn more about the lives of Lithuanian villagers who are featured in the Tower of Faces display. When they point their smartphones at photos in the exhibit, information pops up on the phone screen describing the life of the villagers.

The AR exhibit is important, since a study released in the spring reported that two out of three American millennials don’t know what the Nazi death camp Auschwitz was, and nearly half (49 percent) cannot name any ghetto or concentration camp.

As part of a long-term project to deepen young people’s knowledge about the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last year experimented with AR to give visitors a different and unique experience: a personal connection to the families who lost their lives during the Holocaust. About 80 students participated in the pilot program already, with plans to add more participants next year.

Viewers can learn about the individuals photographed, including whether they perished during the Holocaust.

Here is the presentation video.

Source: VentureBeat